APJ Abdul Kalam's funeral: Why Rameswaram was chosen over New Delhi?

The funeral of former president of India, APJ Abdul Kalam, who passed away in Shillong on Monday night will be held in Rameswaram, his birth place, on July 30 with full military honours.

Updated: Jul 29, 2015, 00:15 AM IST
APJ Abdul Kalam's funeral: Why Rameswaram was chosen over New Delhi?

New Delhi: The funeral of former president of India, APJ Abdul Kalam, who passed away in Shillong on Monday night will be held in Rameswaram, his birth place, on July 30 with full military honours.

Dr Kalam's body was brought to Delhi today where the powerful and the commoners, jostled to offer their last respects to the 'People's President'.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders cutting across political divide led the nation in paying homage to a leader who rose from humble origins to occupy the top office.

Tomorrow, gun carriage with the mortal remains of Kalam will leave his 10 Rajaji Marg residence here for Palam at 7 am tomorrow, as per Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar.

Then a special aircraft carrying the mortal remains will take off from the Palam airport at 7.45 am.

From Madurai, the mortal remains will be flown in to Rameswaram by an IAF helicopter.

The former president's body will lie in state till 7 pm for public to pay homage, Kar said.

The funeral will take place on Thursday at his native place around 11 am in Rameswaram.

And this is being done in accordance with the wishes of the family of Dr Kalam.

The former president's elder brother Muthu Mohammed Meeran Marakkair (99) is said to have insisted that the last rites be held there.

"Abdul had lived with me from his childhood. Today passing away of him is a big loss for me. I don`t know whether I will sleep now onwards because I have always his thoughts in my mind. He is the personality who has never demanded anything for him," Maraicker told ANI.

"The government had accorded its full respect to him, so there is nothing which we could demand," he added.

Meanwhile, a Rameswaram report, quoting officials, said Kalam's funeral would take place at Pekarambu, a place covered with pure white sand dunes, where arrangements were being made to bury his mortal remains, as per PTI.

The site where his body would be buried is 'Mayana Puramboke' (revenue land meant for graveyard), officials said.

Officials said a pandal was being put up to enable VVIPs to pay homage near the bus stand in this town.

After enabling the public to pay their last respects, the body would be handed over to relatives for performing the last rites.

As per the tentative programme, Kalam's body would be taken to the Mohideen Andavar mosque and then to his house where the funeral rites would be performed.

Mosque officials were making arrangements for conducting prayers before the mortal remains are interred.

(With Agency inputs)