Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh): Thousands of
people bid a tearful adieu to former Arunachal Pradesh Chief
Minister Dorjee Khandu whose mortal remains were consigned to
flames on Tuesday, 10 days after his death in a chopper crash.
Over 7000 people gathered at the cremation ground at
Shebdung near his native village in Tawang district this
morning to pay their last respect to their `Laughing Buddha`,
as he was fondly called.
The last rites were performed as per Monpa traditions
along with state honours.
The body was taken to the cremation ground from his
residence after Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin, his cabinet
colleagues, Speaker Wanglin Lowangdong, AICC leaders Dhaniram
Shandil and Sanjoy Bapna, legislators and other senior
officials paid their tributes to the departed soul.
Reading out a brief citation on the life and
achievements of his predecessor, the chief minister said, "It
is the saddest day of our state as we gather here today to pay
our respectful adieu to our beloved leader."
"(He) was an ocean of compassion, pure, virtuous, a
visionary and a pioneer of modern Arunachal Pradesh. It is
very hard to believe that the man of his stature who had been
widely loved by the people in the state as well as the entire
nation is no more amongst us," Gamlin said with tears in his
"I have lost a compassionate brother, a mentor, a
guiding figure and above all a very good human being. The
country has lost an eminent leader, an able administrator who
was committed to all round development. The vacuum that has
been created by his death will never be filled," he said and
promised to follow his footprints.
Abbot of Tawang Monastery Guru Rinpoche also read out
the achievements of Khandu in Monpa dialect.
A helicopter carrying Khandu and four others had
crashed in bad weather in the mountains on April 30.