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Former president Kalam's body flown to Rameswaram, last rites to take place on Thursday

The last rites will take place on Thursday at 11am with full military honours.

News18

Updated:July 29, 2015, 9:48 AM IST
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Former president Kalam's body flown to Rameswaram, last rites to take place on Thursday
The last rites will take place on Thursday at 11am with full military honours.
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New Delhi: The body of former president APJ Abdul Kalam has been flown out of Delhi in a special aircraft and will reach Madurai in Tamil Nadu at around 12 noon on Wednesday.

Wrapped in a tri-colour, Kalam's body was taken to the airport in a gun carriage from his 10 Rajaji Marg residence at 7am, as officials and commoners bid farewell to the man, whose life inspired countless Indians.

The special aircraft took off from the Palam airport at around 8:15am after all three forces gave a sendoff to the former head of the state.

Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain were also present at the airport. Naidu and Parrikar are accompanying the mortal remains of Kalam to Rameswaram. Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan, who is from Tamil Nadu will also join the two Union ministers.

His mortal remains will then be carried in a chopper to his hometown Rameswaram for his final rites.

The former president died on Monday in Shillong after collapsing while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management.

The chopper carrying the late former president's mortal remains is expected to reach Rameswaram by 1pm on Wednesday. His body will be kept at a school for people to pay their respects.

The last rites will take place on Thursday at 11am with full military honours.

Politicians, eminent personalities and the common man are expected to pay respect to the man who will always be remembered as the People's President.

"PM Modi along with several Chief Ministers will be attending the funeral tomorrow," said Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu.

The coastal town of Rameswaram, a Hindu pilgrimage centre, is located around 600 km from Chennai in Ramanathapuram district.

Kalam was born in Rameswaram and spent his young days battling poverty there.

According to a Rameswaram official, the administration is gearing up to make necessary arrangements as thousands are expected to assemble in the town to pay homage.

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