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K R Narayanan cremated with full state honours
November 10, 2005 19:12 IST
The nation on Thursday bid a tearful adieu to former President K R Narayanan who was cremated in New Delhi with full state honours in the presence of a galaxy of leaders, including President A P J Abdul Kalam.
Amid chanting of prayers of all religions and a 21-gun salute, the mortal remains of Narayanan were consigned to flames before a host of dignitaries, including Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Narayanan died in New Delhi on Wednesday at the age of 85 after a brief spell of illness. The last rites were performed by Dr S Ramachandran, his nephew, at a spot between 'Shanti Van', the memorial of Jawaharlal Nehru, and 'Vijay Ghat', that of Lal Bahadur Shastri.
The body, draped in the national tricolour, was brought to the cremation ground in a flower bedecked gun-carriage. Officers from the Armed forces carried on their shoulders the mortal remains of their former Supreme Commander on his last journey to the funeral pyre.
Other prominent personalities present were Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, former Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee, I K Gujral and V P Singh and three Services Chiefs. Narayanan's daughters Chitra and Amrita were seated besides Gandhi and Kalam, respectively.
Earlier, a galaxy of leaders, diplomats and admirers offered tributes to the departed leader at Kapurthala House, where Narayanan's body lay in state. Prior to the rituals, representatives of all religions offered prayers for the peace of the departed soul.