Former President Pranab Mukherjee cremated with full state honours

 Former President Pranab Mukherjee cremated with full state honours

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Mukherjee’s family and relatives paid their last respects clad in PPE kits while conforming to COVID-19 safeguards. An Army contingent gave a guard of honour and a gun salute to the former president.

New Delhi: Former President Pranab Mukherjee was cremated with full state honours at the Lodhi road electric crematorium on Tuesday (September 1) afternoon following COVID-19 guideline. His son Abhijit Mukherjee performed his last rites at the Lodhi Road crematorium.

Mukherjee’s family and relatives paid their last respects clad in PPE kits while conforming to COVID-19 safeguards. An Army contingent gave a guard of honour and a gun salute to the former president.

The mortal remains of former President Pranab Mukherjee arrived at the crematorium in a hearse van instead of the gun carriage in the wake of ongoing restrictions due to COVID-19. The Defense Ministry in a release said that all protocols and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Home Affairs are being followed during the funeral, they said.

Prior to this Pranab Mukherjee’s wreath-laying ceremony was held at his residence at 10 Rajaji Marg in New Delhi. The wreath-laying was scheduled in three phases – for official dignitaries from 9:15 am to 10:15 am, for other dignitaries 10:15 am to 11 am and an hour`s time was kept for the general public from 11 am to 12 noon.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Mukherjee’s residence to pay tributes to former President Pranab Mukherjee.

Following COVID-19 protocols such as maintaining social distancing and wearing masks, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, BJP chief J P Nadda, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and several Union ministers such as Nirmala Sitharaman and Harsh Vardhan were among those who paid homage to him. Leaders paid floral tributes to a photo of Mukherjee, while his remains were kept in another room.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen M M Naravane, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh visited the late president’s home to condole his death.

Mukherjee passed away on Monday at the Army Hospital (Research and Referral) Hospital where he was admitted earlier this month and had undergone surgery for the removal of a clot in his brain. He was 84.

He was admitted to the Army Hospital in Delhi on August 10 and had also tested positive for COVID-19.The government has announced seven-day state mourning from August 31 to September 6.

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