DMK patriarch and Dravidian icon Muthuvel Karunanidhi, fondly called Kalaignar by his fans and followers, was on Wednesday evening buried at Anna Memorial on Marina Beach in Chennai. Sea of tearful supporters and top political leaders from across the country were present at the burial site as the last rites of the five-time Tamil Nadu Chief Minister was being performed.
It was an emotional site as family members of the DMK patriarch – sons Stalin and Alagiri, and daughters Kanimozhi and Selvi – broke down while paying their last respect to the Tamil stalwart.
Among the political leaders who paid their last tributes to Karunanidhi at Marina beach included Congress president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister HD Deve Gowda, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien and senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and M Veerappa Moily.
The final journey of Karunanidhi began at 8 am from Rajaji Hall in Chennai, and moved to the Anna Memorial amid thousands of tearful supporters of the Dravidian icon. His mortal remains were carried in a gun carriage on a military vehicle.
Ahead of the final journey, as thousands thronged Rajaji Hall, at least two people lost their lives while 33 others got injured in a stampede. The police had to earlier resort to a lathicharge as well to control the crowd.
Karunanidhi was laid to rest at Marina beach after the DMK fought a legal battle for the site. With the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu rejecting the demand for burial at Anna Memorial, the DMK moved the Madras High Court, which ruled that Karunanidhi’s mortal remains can be buried near his mentor Annadurai’s memorial.
The DMK patriarch breathed his last at 6.10 pm on Tuesday at Kauvery Hospital in Chennai. He was admitted to the hospital on July 18 and battled for life for days. But his health condition deteriorated since Monday. A day later, the hospital released a statement confirming his demise.