Guwahati: Assam's three-time Chief Minister, one of state's tallest leader, Tarun Gogoi was laid to rest on Thursday (November 26) with full state honours.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam BJP president Ranjit Dass, AGP president Atul Bora, other senior Assam cabinet ministers, top bureaucrats and officials of Assam government were present at the funeral held at Navagraha crematorium in Silpukhuri area of Guwahati.
Assam Congress in-charge Jitender Singh, Assam Pradesh Congress president Ripun Bora and other Congress leaders were also present.
Chief Minister Sonowal laid a wreath as he led the state in paying the last respect to the veteran leader who served the state as the Chief Minister from 2001-2016. Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Agriculture minister and AGP chief Atul Bora, Commerce, Transport and Industries minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Food and Civil Supplies minister and AGP leader Phani Bhushan Choudhury, Assam BJP President Ranjit Dass also laid wreaths and paid tribute.
Assam DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta also laid a wreath and paid his last respect to Gogoi.
It was a touching moment when Tarun Gogoi's wife Dolly Gogoi, draped in a simple white mekhela chaddar laid the wreath and paid her respect to her husband. They were married in July, 1972.
It was an extremely emotional moment as the funeral pyre was lit by the veteran leader's son Gaurav Gogoi. Special prayers were being offered, hymns were being sung and Ahom rituals were followed while performing the last rites of the 'people's leader'.
Gogoi was also extremely popular among the media. One political leader who was most approachable at any point of time and always available for bytes, quotes, comments and analysis. He was popularly referred to as 'darling of the media'.
The last rites were performed with full state honours amid all religion prayers being performed. A gun salute was given – 18 Assam police personnel fired 3 rounds each as gun salute. The Assam Police band played the tune of Lead Kindly Light. Two minutes silence was observed as a mark of respect to the departed leader who was loved and respected across party lines.
Elaborate arrangements were made at the crematorium to ensure smooth conduct of the last rites. Around 100 seats were kept ready for people to be seated inside the crematorium premises. LED platforms were set up for people to watch live the last rites being performed. Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma personally monitored the arrangements.
The final journey of Assam's longest serving Chief Minister began on Thursday morning. The mortal remains of the great leader was first brought to his official residence at Minister's Colony in Dispur. From there it was first taken to the church at Sixth Mile. The funeral procession then went to the Naam Ghar at Zoo Road, Burah Jame Masjid at Ambari, Sukreshwar temple on the banks of Brahmaputra and Ugratara temple in Latasil area and finally arrived at Navagraha crematorium. Huge crowds lined up along the almost 25 km route of the funeral procession.
Traffic restrictions were put in place and the state government had announced a half-day holiday on Thursday as a mark of respect.
Gogoi passed away on Monday (November 23) at 5.34pm after fighting COVID-related ailments. He breathed his last at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). He had tested positive for COVID in August and had tested negative in October.