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Tearful farewell to Nayanar

By Our Staff Reporter

KANNUR, MAY 21. The former Chief Minister, E.K. Nayanar, was given a tearful farewell at a funeral here tonight attended by thousands of people, including CPI(M) workers, sympathisers and admirers cutting across political lines, who flooded to the Town Hall and cremation ground at Payyambalam here braving the rain.

The mortal remains of the departed leader were consigned to the flames in the evening with full state honours. Though it was planned to hold the cremation at 5 p.m. today, the delay of over six hours for the special vehicle carrying the body to reach his home district left the cremation schedule in disarray.

The funeral procession that reached here at around 5-15 p.m. directly proceeded to the home of Nayanar at Kallyassery. Hundreds of party workers, relatives and his admirers reached `Sharadas', his house, to pay their last respects to the deceased leader.

The body draped in the party flag was taken to the cremation ground after keeping it in state at the Town Hall till 10.15 p.m. At 10.45 p.m., Nayanar's eldest son, Krishnakumar, lit the funeral pyre at the Payyambalam cremation ground that was dotted with memorial columns of late political leaders, including A.K. Gopalan and Chadayan Govindan. A contingent of the armed police reversed their guns as two trumpeters sounded the last post. The contingent also offered gun salute. A condolence meeting was also held at Payyambalam.

The Governor, T.N. Chaturvedi, laid a wreath on the body of the former Chief Minister at the Town Hall. Among those who paid their homage to the departed leader included the Finance Minister, K. Shankaranarayanan, the Transport Minister, R. Balakrishna Pillai, the Local Administration Minister, Cherkalam Abdulla, the Cooperation Minister, M.V. Raghavan, the CPI leader and MP, P.K. Vasudevan Nair, the Janata Dal (Secular) leader, M.V. Veerendrakumar, MP, the former BJP State president, C.K. Padmanabhan, the Congress (S) leader, Kadannappally Ramachandran, the DGP, Hormese Tharakan, and the Kannur Bishop, Varghese Chakkalakkal.

Among those who accompanied the body were the CPI(M) Politburo member, Prakash Karat, the Leader of the Opposition, V.S. Achuthanandan, the CPI(M) State secretary, Pinarayi Vijayan, and the State Secretariat member, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

After keeping it at Kallyasseri for over an hour for public viewing, the body was brought to the Town Hall where it was kept in state for over three hours as a large number of people flooded the premises to offer their last respects for the leader. Earlier, hundreds of people stood on both sides of the road in many places as the special vehicle carrying the body of Nayanar passed through them en route to Kannur in the afternoon.

The Town Hall turned out to be the destination of thousands of mourners, including women, who came from different parts of the region to bid a tearful adieu to the deceased leader. The Town Hall also witnessed spontaneous outpouring of emotions as party workers and admirers trudged past the coffin to have a last glimpse of the leader. Outside the hall, there was a stampede-like situation as party workers jostled to enter the hall. Police personnel and volunteers in the vicinity of the hall had a tough time controlling the crowd at night.The MPs, N.N. Krishnadas, C.S. Sujatha, Manoj Kurishinkal, Sathi Devi, Francis George, S. Ajayakumar, T.K. Hamza and Sebastian Paul, were among the host of leaders who offered floral tributes to the leader.

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