Nation bids a teary adieu to her ‘Missile Man’


Chennai: The mortal remains of former President A P J Abdul Kalam, who died on Monday, were taken from his ancestral house here to the local mosque ahead of the funeral as thousands of mourners — young and old — poured into the island town to pay their last respects. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and a host of other dignitaries, including and chief ministers of some states, attended the last rites to be held around 11 AM after 'Namaz-e-Janaza'. The body of 83-year-old Kalam, who passed away in Shillong on Monday, was taken from the house around 9.30 AM to the mosque by the personnel of three services with the casket covered with traditional green shawl. At the mosque, the Aalin or the chief priest read out special prayer and speak about the former president, who grew up from this island.

The body of the "Missile Man" was brought to his house on the narrow Pallivasal Street around 10 PM last night after lying in state and left in the privacy of his family till this morning.  Thousands of mourners kept pouring through the night by various transport including buses, trains and boats to attend the last rites and many of them even slept on the roads last night. Tamil Nadu Government has declared a public holiday today as a mark of respect to Kalam.