NEW DELHI: Former President Pranab Mukherjee was cremated with full state honours at the Lodhi Road electric crematorium on Tuesday afternoon. While his son performed the last rites, his family and relatives paid their respects clad in PPE suits, conforming to Covid-19 safeguards.
An Army contingent gave a guard of honour and a gun salute to India’s 13th president who died on Monday evening after a three-week battle with multiple ailments.
Mukherjee’s mortal remains were kept at his 10 Rajaji Marg residence for people to pay homage. President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu, PM Narendra Modi, chiefs of the three defence services and politicians cutting across party lines paid their final respects to the former president.
A host of politicians and others, too, reached his residence to pay homage to the Bharat Ratna. Former PM 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 including Nirmala Sitharaman and Harsh Vardhan were among them.
Workers of various parties and people from all walks of life stood in long queues maintaining social distancing, wearing masks and carrying bouquets as they waited patiently to catch a glimpse of Mukherjee for one last time.
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 Pranab’s home to condole his death.