Paikarumbu (Tamil Nadu), July 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the family members of former president Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on the sidelines of his last rites being held here on Thursday.
Prime Minister Modi touched the feet of Kalam’s 99-year-old elder brother Mohammad Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraicker and spent some time commiserating with him and other members of the family over their loss.
Among others, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy and Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam paid their homage to Dr. Kalam.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also paid last respects to the ‘People’s President’.
Thousands of people joined the funeral procession of Dr. Kalam’s funeral being held with full state honours.
Earlier, the Governor of Tamil Nadu, K.Rosiah, the three service chiefs, chief ministers and leaders of various political parties offered poignant salutes, placed wreaths and salutations to the national flag-draped body of Dr. Kalam.
Kalam, 83, passed away on Monday in Shillong after suffering a massive cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture to students at the Indian Institute of Management.
Tributes have been pouring in from home and abroad for India’s “missile man”, whose life inspired countless Indians.
According to reports, over one lakh people attended the last rites. After the 21-gun salute, reversal of arms and the Last Post, the armed forces removed the tricolour from the mortal remains of the former president and handed it over to his family as a mark of honour and respect.
Thereafter, the body was taken off the podium and placed reverentially in the grave dug nearby. A namaz-e-janaza was then performed after the grave was closed. After final prayers, rose petals were placed over the grave.
The body of Kalam was buried in the middle of a 1.5 acre piece of land earmarked for the purpose at Peikarumbu here after being brought from his family mosque where special prayers were offered.
(With Agency Inputs)