KOCHI: Friends, relatives, and supporters started pouring into the house of the Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi, at Jawahar Nagar near here ever since the news broke on Saturday morning of the death of his wife, Mercy Ravi.
The ambulance carrying the body arrived at 2.40 p.m.
Mr. Ravi stepped down from the car and responded with folded hands to those offering condolences. Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy and the United Democratic Front convener P.P. Thankachan were among those who accompanied Mr. Ravi and his bereaved family members from the airport.
Mr. Ravi sat beside his wife’s body as their children Ravi Krishna, Lisa Rohan, and Lakshmi Ravi looked on.
The police contingent led by Inspector General of Police (Ernakulam Range) Vincent M. Paul, Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham and Deputy Commissioner of Police P. Prakash had a tough time controlling the people who came to pay last respects and place wreaths on the body. The initial disorder was soon set right as the police managed to organise the people into a queue.
Badges bearing the picture of the departed leader was found pinned on the dress of Congress party activists and supporters. A garlanded portrait of Ms. Ravi was kept at the entry of the road leading to the house. Vehicles mounted with a sound system announcing the news made rounds of the city roads.
People from all walks of life paid homage to Ms. Ravi. Ministers K.P. Rajendran and C. Divakaran; MPs, P.C. Chacko, K.C. Venugopal, K.P. Dhanapalan, P. Rajeev, Abdul Wahab, M.I. Shanavas and M.K. Raghavan; MLAs K. Babu, V.K. Ebrahim Kunju, K.M. Mani, and K. Achuthan; former Supreme Court Judge V.R. Krishna Iyer; former Judge of the High Court K.K. Narendran; Mayor Mercy Williams; Deputy Mayor C.K. Manisankar; Additional District Magistrate K.N. Raje; UDF spokesman M.M. Hassan CITU State general secretary M.M. Lawrence; Indian Union Muslim League leaders P.K. Kunhalikutty and Panakkad Sadiq Ali Shihab Thangal; People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chairman Abdul Nasir Maudany; former vice-chancellor of the Sree Sankara University of Sanskrit, K.S. Radhakrishnan; singer K.J. Yesudas and his wife, and actor Kunchacko Boban were among those who paid last respects.
The Sree Narayana Seva Sangham also mourned the death of Mercy Ravi.
Later, the body, draped with the flag of the Congress party, was taken to Mr. Ravi’s ancestral house at Vayalar in Alappuzha district for the funeral.