Indira Goswami laid to rest with state honours

Guwahati: The mortal remains of Assamese litterateur Indira Raisom Goswami were consigned to flames here today with full state honours. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi placed floral wreaths on the body of the eminent litterateur on behalf of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi at the cremation ground. The 69-year-old author, who suffered a cerebral stroke in February, died on Tuesday following a cardiac arrest.

Governor J B Patnaik, chief minister along with his cabinet colleagues, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee President Bhubaneswar Kalita, Chief Secretary N K Das and others also paid their last tributes to the writer, popularly called `Mamoni baideu`. A 21-gun salute was given to Goswami before she was placed on the sandalwood pyre for the last rites performed according to vedic rituals by her niece Mrinmoyee Goswami.

Goswami`s last journey from her Gandhibasti residence, draped in her signature red traditional Assamese `pat` silk along with the prominent red `bindi` on her forehead, began at 10 AM and she was carried to the cremation ground, about two km away, by pall-bearers.

The Ramayani scholar, also an ardent Shakti devotee, usually wore red and her red `bindi` along with her kohl-lined eyes were her trademark. Goswami had taken the initiative of persuading the banned ULFA to come forward for dialogue with the outfit even setting up the Peoples` Consultative Group (PCG) in 2003 and appointing her as an advisor. Goswami received Jnanpith award in 2000 for her contribution to Assamese literature.