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December 3, 2001
2131 IST

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Harrison's ashes to be immersed in Ganga on Tuesday

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow

The ashes of Beatles lead guitarist, lyricist and singer George Harrison, who died on Friday in Los Angeles after a long battle against cancer, would be immersed in the Ganga river at both Varanasi and Allahabad on Tuesday morning.

Confirming this, Arajeet Das, the head of the Varanasi unit of International Society of Krishna Consciousness told rediff.com: "I have just received a communication from our Delhi office that Harrison's wife and children together with some ISKCON devotees from London would be arriving in Varanasi by a special chartered plane around 4.30 am (IST) on Tuesday."

Das said, "While no detailed plans for the ceremony were available at the moment, the immersion would tentatively take place shortly after their arrival, following which they would fly down to Allahabad for another round of immersion of ashes at the holy sangam (the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati rivers) there."

A keen devotee of Lord Krishna, Harrison had close connections with ISKCON, also known as Hare Krishna movement.

Barely three and a half months back, he had visited Varanasi, where he stayed in strict privacy.

"This ISKCON centre then did not have a guest house, so he stayed in a hotel, but he would spend most of his time offering prayers and performing religious rituals," Das said.

The immersion in Varanasi was likely to take place around sunrise, while that in Allahabad would be carried out later in the day.

Earlier, mediapersons and officials alike were kept on tenterhooks by rumours that the legend's ashes were going to be immersed on Monday itself.

Uttar Pradesh's Principal Home Secretary Naresh Dayal had even gone to the extent of telling this scribe: "I would not be surprised if they have already immersed the ashes this (Monday) morning and gone back; perhaps because they wanted it to be a low key affair, they preferred not to seek any kind of assistance from the district authorities or the police."

However, Varanasi police officials are now of the view that desired security would be provided to Harrison's family members.

Related Report:
Harrison died to Hare Krishna chants

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