OTHERS

Cadres shocked, dazed

CHENNAI, AUG. 30. A sea of humanity thronged the TMC leader, G.K. Moopanar's residence on Bhaktavatsalam Road, Mylapore here when his body was taken there from the SRMC hospital this morning. As word spread of the death, mourners who came in a trickle initially swelled as the day wore on.

Even before the body arrived, middle level leaders and party volunteers started gathering there. As the crowd swelled, the number of police personnel also grew. The restriction on the mourners also got tougher by the hour and one gate was closed.

When the ambulance, sporting a party flag arrived with the body, cries of ``Long live Moopanar's fame'' rent the air.

Even party leaders and VIPs found it tough to enter the house. The crowd refused to heed frequent appeals by party leaders who said the body would be kept for public homage at the Kamarajar Arangam, Teynampet, and that the mourners could go over there.

When the van carrying the body left Mr. Moopanar's house around 2 p.m, the emotionally-surcharged mourners raised slogans in praise of the departed leader. A similar scene was witnessed in the afternoon at the Kamarajar Arangam, where the body was placed for public homage. Here too, the constant slogans, `Makkal Thalaivar Moopanar Vaazhga' rent the air. As the crowd increased, barricades were put up near the podium for access control.

There was a minor commotion around 6 p.m., when a young mourner was pushed by the crowd against a glass door. The door was damaged. None was hurt.

All-faith prayer

An all-faith prayer was organised here. Bhajans by a group including musician Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and a Christian choir group's concert were the highlights.

Shocked and dazed. That was the emotion of every TMC cadre. For the grass roots worker, ``Moopanar Aiya'' was the herald of nationalistic politics in Tamil Nadu. He represented both the party and its ideology. These were persons who continue to cherish Mr. Moopanar not only as their leader but also as a guiding force.