GUWAHATI: Young and old alike from all faiths thronged the 'Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra' on Wednesday to pay their last respects to former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. The gathering included former Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and also AASU (All Assam Students' Union) leaders including Samujjal Bhattacharya.
As a mark of respect to the departed soul, the State government has declared a half-holiday from 1 pm on Thursday. During this period, all State government offices, semi-government offices, public sector undertakings, corporations, boards, educational institutions among others will remain closed, said a GAD (General Administration Department) notification issued on Wednesday.
"Gogoi was known for his humanity. He was the voice of the Northeast. He advised us when we faced troubles. He had a collective approach while solving the problems of Northeast," said Mukul Sangma.
The mortal remains of late Gogoi is scheduled to be cremated at the Nabagraha Crematorium here at 1 pm on Thursday. Before that, Gogoi's body will be taken to his official residence at Dispur from the Kalakshetra for the necessary rituals. It was Gogoi's dying wish that his mortal remains should be taken from his official residence to the Rukmini Nagar Gurudwara, Sundarpur Namghar at Zoo Road, Guwahati Burha Masjid near Guwahati Club, Shukreswar Temple and Ugratara Temple before taking it to Nabagraha Crematorium.
On its part, Guwahati Traffic Police have already declared some roads closed on Thursday so as to ease traffic congestion during the funeral procession. Arrangement has been made for 1,000 people during the funeral. To let people see the funeral, a big screen will be erected near Kali Mandir at Silpukhuri.
Even as the remains of former Chief Minister will be cremated with full State honours, Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that gun salute to the departed Chief Minister may be problematic because of the location. "The samadhisthal will be finalized after discussion with his family members later," said Sarma.