Massive preparations in Assam for Hazarika`s final journey

Guwahati: Massive arrangements are being made in Assam`s main city of Guwahati for the funeral rites of music maestro Bhupen Hazarika who passed away in a Mumbai hospital Saturday.

According to plans, a scheduled Jet Airways flight carrying Hazarika`s coffin will arrive at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati around 11.30 a.m. Monday.

The funeral is planned for Tuesday.

"From the airport, the body of the music legend would be first brought to his ancestral home at Nizarapara in Guwahati and then taken to the Judges Field (a public playground) for his fans and well-wishers to pay their tributes and respect," Assam Inspector General of Police GP Singh told reporters.

On way from the airport to his ancestral home, the cortege would stop briefly at the entrance of the Gauhati University, besides at two central points - Bharalumukh and Dighalipukhuri.

"We plan to keep the body at his Nizarapara house for about two hours and then by sundown expect to bring it to the Judges Field. The body would be placed inside an air-conditioned cubicle until Tuesday morning," Singh said.

Fans and well wishers would be allowed to pay their respects throughout Monday night.

"After consultations with family members we would take out the funeral procession around Tuesday afternoon. The time and venue is yet to be finalized," the police official said.

Family members said the funeral would be performed at Cachal in Guwahati, a plot of land housing the Bhupen Hazarika Trust, built during his lifetime under his personal supervision.

Elaborate security and traffic arrangements are being made with officials expecting more than a million people during the next two days.

"We are making all arrangements to ensure a smooth funeral," Singh said.

Meanwhile, emotional scenes were being witnessed across the state with people holding prayer meetings.

`Buku Hom Hom Kore`, `Bistirno Paarore`, `Manuhe Manuhor Babe`, `We are in the same boat brothers`, `Sagar Hongomot`, `Moi Eti Jajabor`, were some of his best compositions.

Fans and well wishers across Assam have come out in the streets singing his popular songs and holding street corner prayer meetings by lighting earthen lamps.

IANS

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