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Abdul Kalam’s mortal remains reach Rameswaram, thousands gather to pay homage

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RAMESWARAM: The body of former President APJ Abdul Kalam reached his hometown Rameswaram on Wednesday afternoon.

The body, which was brought to Madurai from New Delhi on an IAF aircraft, was later flown to Mandapam Camp in Ramanathapuram district on a helicopter. Union ministers Manohar Parrikar and Venkaiah Naidu accompanied the body from Delhi.

Tamil Nadu ministers, including finance minister O Panneerselvam, and relatives of Kalam received the body at the Mandapam Camp.

Army, India Air Force and Navy personnel presented a Guard of Honour after the body reached there at 2.05pm

Later the body was taken to Rameswaram on a decorated vehicle. Thousands of people lined on both sides of the road for a last glimpse of Kalam.

The body was placed at a decorated dais near the bus stand in Rameswaram. It would be kept there till 8pm for the public to pay homage to the former President. After 8pm, the mortal remains would be handed over to the family members.

The funeral will be held around 10.30am on Thursday.

Union minister Venkaiya Naidu confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would attend the funeral. “The Prime Minister is expected to arrive here 10am,” the minister said.

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