Guwahati (ND TV): The body of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who died on Monday in Meghalaya, was brought to Delhi from Guwahati in Assam a little after noon today. A guard of honour by the three services was held at the airport, where President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Dr Kalam’s body and paid homage.
Vice President Hamid Ansari, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the three service chiefs were also present at the airport.
Dr Kalam’s funeral will be held tomorrow in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, where he was born.
The government has declared a seven-day national mourning as a mark of respect for the man known and loved across the country as the “People’s President”.
The former president died after a massive cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management in Shillong, Meghalaya, last evening. He was 83.
Both Houses of Parliament adjourned today as a mark of respect for the popular president. The government has said that Dr Kalam’s body will be taken to his Delhi residence at 10, Rajaji Marg, where people can pay tributes this afternoon.
Paying tribute to Dr Kalam last night, PM Modi had said, “My mind is filled with so many memories, so many interactions with him. Always marvelled at his intellect, learnt so much from him.”
Messages of condolence also poured in from various leaders.
Known as the Missile Man of India, Dr Kalam played a pivotal role in the Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan and Bharat Ratna for his achievements.
While in his 70s, he was nominated for the MTV Youth Icon of the Year award in 2003 and 2006.
Dr Kalam’s last tweet, posted on Monday morning, read:
Going to Shillong.. to take course on Livable Planet earth at iim. With @srijanpalsingh and Sharma.