Puri: The mortal remains of Padma Vibhushan Raghunath Mohapatra were consigned to flames with full state honours at Girala village in Puri district on Sunday night.
His body was brought to the village in a special ambulance from AIIMS-Bhubaneswar. Puri Sub-collector Bhabataran Sahoo, , Additional superintendent of Police and other administrative officers paid last respect to the departed soul.
Wearing PPE kit, Mohapatra’s grandson lit the funeral pyre in presence of a handful of relatives and state officials. The last rites were conducted in strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.
A recipient of many prestigious awards including Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Mohapatra lost his last battle to Covid 19 at AIIMS Bhubaneswar on Sunday. He was 78.
A renowned stone sculptor of India, Mohapatra was also a sitting Rajya Sabha member. He is survived by two sons, Prashant and Jasobant, both of them undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the same facility.
Mohapatra was admitted to the premier health institute on April 22. A team of four doctors was monitoring his health condition at the premier hospital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had earlier this week enquired about his health condition, expressed deep grief over his demise.
Similarly, Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, Andhra Pradesh Governor B B Harichandan, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Sarangi expressed their condolences over the demise of Mohapatra.
Born on March 24, 1943 at Pthuria Sahi in Puri district, Mohapatra was awarded Padma Shri in 1975, Padma Bhushan in 2001 and Padma Vibhushan in 2013. He was nominated by the Ministry of External Affairs as a member of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in 2000. He was also nominated to the Upper House of the Parliament in 2018 by the President iof India.
He had also served as a senior instructor and superintendent of the Handicraft Training and Designing Centre, Bhubaneswar.