Thousands turn up for last rites of Hazarika

Guwahati: The mortal remains of cultural icon Bhupen Hazarika were today consigned to flames by his son Tez Bhupen Hazarika after full state honours were accorded to him at the Gauhati University campus where thousands had turned up for his final rites.

Tez lit the pyre at 10:20 AM after performing the rituals associated with the last rites while the singer`s companion of nearly 40 years Kalpana Lajmi sobbed and prayed with folded hands. The last post was sounded and a 21-gun salute was given to the legend before his body was lifted to the pyre.

Hazarika`s body draped in the traditional gamosa reached the campus at around 10 am from historic Judges Field and final tributes were paid by Assam Governor J B Patnaik and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
Wreaths were placed by Union DONER Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar on behalf of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh on behalf of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and by BJP leader in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

After the last respects were paid, the body was taken out of the casket and transferred to a bamboo bier and his son and nephews carried him on his final journey to the sandalwood pyre. About 70 kg of sandalwood collected from the University Botanical Garden has been used for the pyre.

After lighting the pyre, Tez knelt and bowed to the people with folded hands thanking them for their love and respect for his father. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also placed a sandalwood on the pyre.