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Thousands gather for APJ Abdul Kalam's funeral in Rameswaram, Modi, many top leaders present

The body of Kalam, also a distinguished scientist and a teacher and popularly known as "People's President' and "Missile Man", reached this Hindu pilgrim town on Wednesday.

News18.com

Updated:July 30, 2015, 11:18 AM IST
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Thousands gather for APJ Abdul Kalam's funeral in Rameswaram, Modi, many top leaders present
The body of Kalam, also a distinguished scientist and a teacher and popularly known as "People's President' and "Missile Man", reached this Hindu pilgrim town on Wednesday.

Former president APJ Abdul Kalam will be laid to rest in his hometown on Thursday after he died of a massive cardiac arrest on 27 July. Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with several other top political leaders will be present for the funeral.

The body of Kalam, also a distinguished scientist and a teacher and popularly known as "People's President' and "Missile Man", reached this Hindu pilgrim town on Wednesday.

The mortal remains of Kalam were brought to Mandapam from Madurai in a helicopter after being flown there from Delhi in a special Indian Air Force aircraft. Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar accompanied the casket. At Madurai, the body was received by Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah.

From Madurai, Kalam's body was brought in a helicopter to Mandapam where state ministers, members of the armed forces and others paid their last respects to the departed leader.

Watch live: APJ Abdul Kalam's final journey

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and several other leaders will also attend Kalam's last rites on Thursday. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, however, announced her inability to travel to Rameswaram owing to her health condition. She also announced that the government had allotted land for burying Kalam's mortal remains at the request of his family.

Born in Rameswaram on October 15, 1931, Kalam, as a boy, hawked newspapers to supplement his family income. His father owned a boat, and his mother constantly struggled to keep the family sufficiently fed and clothed. His sister pawned jewellery with a moneylender so that the studious Kalam could have Rs.600 when he decided to leave Rameswaram to join the Madras Institute of Technology.

Security has been tightened at Rameswaram in view of the large number of people, including ministers and others, who are expected to attend Kalam's last rites.

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