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Kalam laid to rest in poignant ceremony at Rameswaram

The mortal remains of Abdul Kalam being taken to a mosque near his house for prayers in Rameswaram on Thursday. — Photo: L. Balachandar

The mortal remains of Abdul Kalam being taken to a mosque near his house for prayers in Rameswaram on Thursday. — Photo: L. Balachandar   | Photo Credit: - L_Balachandar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in bidding farewell to former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as the “People’s President” was laid to rest with full state honours here on Thursday. Thousands of people poured out on the streets of the island and paid their last respects.



It was a poignant moment as Mr. Modi, shortly after three armed services personnel brought the coffin to the burial site and presented a guard of honour, bowed and laid a wreath.



Earlier, flying down from Madurai in a chopper, Mr. Modi paid his respects to Kalam’s elder brother, A.P.J. M Maraikayar, who was seated in the VVIP enclosure, by touching his feet. The funeral was conducted with a 21-gun salute.



A spectrum of leaders — Union Ministers, Chief Ministers, Governors, State Ministers, former Union Ministers and political leaders, including Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi — took part in the funeral and paid floral tributes to Kalam.



Earlier, tens of thousands of people bid farewell to Kalam after the family members conducted the last rites, offered prayers in his ancestral home here and made a brief stopover for the “Janaza prayer” at the nearby mosque.



It was a profound moment as the body was brought out from the “House of Kalam” to be taken to the mosque for the final prayers. After the Imam conducted a brief “Janaza prayer” for Kalam’s soul to rest in peace, the body was brought out from the mosque and placed on the coffin by armed forces personnel for the final journey at 9.55 a.m.



A large number of people, who gathered inside and outside the mosque, were moved to tears as the cortege left for the burial site.



People lined up on either side of the road and paid their last respects with folded hands and tears.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 4:20:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/abdul-kalam-funeral/article7480609.ece

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