Tuesday, April 20

Last rites of Tarun Gogoi conducted in Guwahati with state honours

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The last rites of veteran Congress leader and former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi were conducted with full state honours on Thursday in Guwahati, three days after he passed away due to post-Covid-19 complications.

Gogoi’s son, Gaurav Gogoi, a Congress MP from Assam, lit the funeral pyre at the Nabagraha crematorium in the presence of thousands of the late leader’s supporters, dignitaries and party workers with a 21 gun-salute.

Gogoi’s wife Dolly Gogoi, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, several senior ministers, senior bureaucrats, police officers and Congress in-charge for Assam Jitendra Singh were present on the occasion.

The 84-year-old passed away on Monday at Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) after battling Covid-19 and complications related to the disease for nearly three months.

On Thursday morning, Gogoi’s body was taken from Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra, where it was kept for the public to pay their respects, to his official residence for rituals associated with the last rites.

From there it was taken in a procession to a church, a ‘naam-ghar’ (prayer house), a mosque and two temples before the cortege proceeded to the Nabagraha crematorium for the last rites.

Gogoi’s mortal remains were placed in a flower-decked vehicle where his son, a few family members and senior leaders of Congress, including state unit president Ripun Bora, were present.

Hundreds of people lined the streets along which the procession passed to bid a final adieu to Gogoi, an unprecedented sight in Guwahati.

The Assam government had declared a half-day state holiday on Thursday as a mark of respect for Gogoi. A three-day state mourning had been declared on the day of his demise.

Gogoi, who served as chief minister for three terms from 2001 to 2016 (Assam’s longest serving chief minister), is credited with ushering peace and stability to the state after two decades of insurgency.