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Thousands bid adieu to former President A P J Abdul Kalam 

Mortal remains of former President A P J Abdul Kalam being taken in a procession in Rameswaram on Thursday. Photo L. Balachandar

Mortal remains of former President A P J Abdul Kalam being taken in a procession in Rameswaram on Thursday. Photo L. Balachandar  

Many people took vantage positions at top of their houses, balconies to have a last glimpse of the 'People’s President'.

Thousands of people from various walks of life bid a tearful final adieu to the mortal remains of former President A P J Abdul Kalam after last rites and prayers at his ancestral home here and a brief stop-over for “janaza prayer” at the nearby mosque on Thursday morning.

A profound moment of grief rent the air as the body was brought out from the “House of Kalam” after family members gave a wash to the body and offered prayers, before it was taken to the nearby mosque for the final prayers.

The Imam of the ‘Mohideen Aandavar pallivasal’ (mosque), near Kalam’s house conducted a brief ‘Janaza prayer’ for Kalam’s soul to rest in peace. The body was then brought out from the mosque by family members and placed on the cortege by personnel from armed forces 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 took the final journey from the mosque to the burial site to the shouts of “nare takbeer’, ‘Kalam sab hamara hai’ and ‘Jai Hind’. People lined up on either side of the road and paid their last respects with folded hands and tears in their eyes.

Many people took vantage positions at top of their houses, balconies to have a last glimpse of the 'People’s President' though the body was covered with a white cloth wrapped in tri-colour and the coffin with a green cloth with verses from Quran printed in Arabic.

After a vain bid to get a glimpse, people walked along with the cortege in the final journey to the burial site, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the official mourning on behalf of the Government of India.

Earlier, after public paid homage till 10.05 p.m. on Wednesday, the mortal remains of Mr Kalam was brought to his house at 10.15 p.m. and kept in the house overnight as family members kept praying.

The body was kept in the open ground in front of the bus stand for an extended two hours till 10 p.m. to enable people who had come from far and near to pay their homage. A large number of people have poured in from neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 5:49:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/thousands-bid-adieu-to-former-president-a-p-j-abdul-kalam/article7481009.ece

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