Shillong, July 27: Former President A P J Abdul Kalam, a popular head of state between 2002 and 2007, died on Monday after he collapsed during a lecture here. The Central government has declared a seven day national mourning.
Kalam, 84, had been admitted to a hospital in the city, after he collapsed during a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management.
The former president was in a critical condition and had been admitted to the city’s Bethany Hospital.
Kalam served as the 11th President on India from 2002 to 2007.
Kalam, who was affectionately known as the People’s President, was the third President of India to have been honoured with a Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.
He was also the first scientist and the first bachelor to occupy Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed his condolences over the demise of former president A.P.J Abdul Kalam saying that his death is an irreparable loss to the nation.
The home minister tweeted: “Deeply saddened at the sudden demise of the former president of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. He was an inspiration to an entire generation. Dr. Kalam was a man of impeccable character, indomitable spirit, profound knowledge and firm conviction.”
“The death of Dr. Kalam is an irreparable loss to this nation. He has left a big void hard to fill. I deeply mourn his death,” he added.
Expressing his condolence over the demise of A.P.J Abdul Kalam, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the former president’s death has left a void in the nation and added he would continue to inspire many.
Jaitley said: “He was to every Indian a role model and an ideal citizen. Everything about him was positive. His thoughts, his vision everything was positive. The country will never forget his contributions a scientist and as a president. He has left a void in the nation. We will continue to be inspired by him.”
Ace Tennis Player Sania Mirza expressed her condolences over the demise of former president A.P.J Abdul Kalam, tweeting: “What a sad day this has been. RIP Abdul Kalam.”
(With Agency Inputs)