SHILLONG, March 5: The mortal remains of PA Sangma, former Chief Minister of Meghalaya and former Lok Sabha Speaker, was flown in to Tura in an army chopper shortly after 12 noon on Saturday, accompanied by Meghalaya Governor V Shanmugathan, Union Minister of State for DoNER Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and his family members.
As Late Sangma’s body was being taken from the helipad at Dobasipara to his residence at Walbakgre followed by convoy of vehicles across Tura town, people thronged on both sides of the streets to have a last glimpse of their beloved leader. All shops and business establishments remained closed on the arrival of the body as a mark of respect to the late leader.
The body will be laid in state at his residence till the State funeral on Monday.
Sangma’s residence at Walbakgre became a sea of humanity as thousands of people from all walks of life had gathered there to receive the mortal remains and show their solidarity to the bereaved family. A brief meeting was conducted at the residence where the Governor, the Union ministers and other visiting officials paid homage to departed leader.
Paying his tributes, the Governor said Sangma was the embodiment of the best qualities of a politician and likened his towering persolity to that of the Himalayas. He called upon the family members and the people to carry forward and realize the dream of the late leader, particularly for creating employment to all the unemployed youths of the region.
Union Minister of State, DoNER, Dr. Singh, who was moved to witness a sea of humanity along the streets waiting to have a last look at their leader, said it was “unusual”. Paying rich tributes to Sangma, he said Sangma played a crucial role in bringing Northeast to the mainstream, adding that he was a role model for other parliamentarians in conduct of the House.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju said that had come down to Tura to pay the last tributes on behalf of Prime Minister rendra Modi and referred to Sangma as the first political face of Northeast. He fondly recalled the late leader as his persol guide, whom he had known since his student days.
Sangma’s son and former fince minister Conrad K Sangma thanked the government of India for its support, saying that it was due to their intervention they were able to bring back his father’s body home.
Later a prayer service was held in memory of the departed leader which was attended by thousands of people from all over Garo Hills.
Meanwhile, condolences continued to pour in on the second day too. In a condolence message issued on Saturday, KHADC CEM PN Syiem termed Sangma’s demise as an irreparable loss to the State of Meghalaya.
“PA Sangma was one of the tribal leaders of India who advocated a dymic role for tribals and minorities in the day to day life of India. He was of the opinion that the diverse fabric of India will be best served by giving the Scheduled tribes and minorities a recognized place in the Indian union, as vibrant and vital components,” Syiem said in his statement.
The Martin Luther Christian University today called a condolence meeting with all staff and students and prayed for eterl peace of Sangma. The vice chancellor of the University Robert G Lyngdoh, who was out of town send his message in which he express his condolences for the family of Sangma and he added, “It is a big lost for the state as a whole because he was one person who was known throughout the country”.
The North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF) too condoled the demise of Sangma According to the NEDF his sudden passing away is a great loss to India’s political are.