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Pranab cremated with military honors amid Covid-19 precautions

New Delhi: Former President Pranab Mukherjee, who passed away here at Army’s R&R Hospital during treatment at the age of 84, was cremated with full military honors at the Lodhi Road crematorium following a strict Covid-19 precautionary protocol.

His son Abhijit Mukherjee performed the final rites accompanied by a 21-gun military salute. Only close family members were allowed to enter the crematorium unlike previous cremation ceremonies of such dignitaries, and those handling the mortal remains of Mukherjee wore PPE kits.

Following Covid-19 precautionary protocol, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led a galaxy of top political leaders who paid floral tributes to the departed soul at his 10, Rajaji Marg residence.

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat were among those who joined the rest of the nation in bidding adieu to the ‘People’s President’.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP President J.P. Nadda, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, CPI General Secretary D.Raja, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, and many others paid homage to Mukherjee.

The tricolor that was wrapped around Mukherjee’s body was removed and given to his family for the last rites.

A man of unparalleled experience in governance, Mukherjee had gone into septic shock because of his lung infection and was hospitalized on August 10 in a critical condition. The veteran Parliamentarian served as the Union Foreign, Defence, Commerce and Finance Minister.

The government has announced a seven-day State mourning from August 31 to September 6 as a mark of respect to the leader. The tricolor is flying half-mast on all buildings throughout the country. There will be no official entertainment during these seven days.

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