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Khandu cremated with State honours

By Correspondent

ITANAGAR, May 10 � Former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Dorjee Khandu was cremated at Shepedung near his Lemberdung residence in Tawang district this morning, 10 days after he died in a tragic chopper crash along with four other persons near Sela Pass in the district on April 30 last.

The mortal remains of 56-year-old Khandu were consigned to flames after the last rites were performed by lamas (Buddhist monks) in accordance with the traditions of Monpa tribe following full State honours.

Thousands of grief-stricken people from all walks of life gathered at the cremation ground to pay their last respects to the �Laughing Buddha�, as the former chief minister was fondly called by his admirers.

Watched by a galaxy of dignitaries including newly sworn-in Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin, Assembly Speaker Wanglin Lowangdong, AICC leaders Col Dhaniram Shandil and Sanjay Bapna, State Ministers and MLAs, among others, Dorjee Khandu�s mortal remains were consigned to flames amid chanting of mantras by the Buddhist monks.

Earlier, the final journey of late Khandu began at 8 in the morning as thousands of mourners took out his body from his Lemberdung residence with a ceremonial procession to the cremation ground after Chief Minister Gamlin, his cabinet colleagues, Speaker Wanglin Lowangdong, AICC leaders Dhaniram Shandil and Sanjoy Bapna, legislators and other senior officials paid their tributes to the departed soul.

Smokes from tsang (incense sticks and dhuna), being burnt by the people along the street through which the cavalcade proceeded to the cremation ground, engulfed the entire Tawang sky even as hundreds of people with moist eyes and heavy hearts were waiting to bid adieu to their beloved leader. More than 7,000 mourners, holding the blazing incense sticks in their hands murmured hymns as they silently followed the procession with Khandu�s body to the cremation ground.

At the cremation ground, before Khandu�s body was consigned to flames, Chief Minister Gamlin read out a brief citation on life and achievements of the late chief minister.

�It is the saddest day of our State and the Nation as we gathered here today to pay our respectful adieu to our beloved leader. Dorjee Khandu was an ocean of compassion, pure, virtuous, a visionary and a pioneer of modern Arunachal Pradesh. It is very hard to believe that the man of his stature who had been widely loved by the people in the state as well as the entire nation is no more amongst us,� said Gamlin with tearful eyes.

�In his death, the country has lost an eminent leader, an able administrator who was committed to all round development. I too have lost a compassionate brother, a mentor, a guiding figure and above all, a very good human being. The vacuum that has been created will never be filled,� said the new CM and promised to follow the footprints of late Khandu to carry forward his vision he had for Arunachal Pradesh.

The Abbot of Tawang Monastery, Guru T Rinpoche also read out the life and achievements of late Khandu in Monpa dialect.

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Khandu cremated with State honours

ITANAGAR, May 10 � Former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Dorjee Khandu was cremated at Shepedung near his Lemberdung residence in Tawang district this morning, 10 days after he died in a tragic chopper crash along with four other persons near Sela Pass in the district on April 30 last.

The mortal remains of 56-year-old Khandu were consigned to flames after the last rites were performed by lamas (Buddhist monks) in accordance with the traditions of Monpa tribe following full State honours.

Thousands of grief-stricken people from all walks of life gathered at the cremation ground to pay their last respects to the �Laughing Buddha�, as the former chief minister was fondly called by his admirers.

Watched by a galaxy of dignitaries including newly sworn-in Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin, Assembly Speaker Wanglin Lowangdong, AICC leaders Col Dhaniram Shandil and Sanjay Bapna, State Ministers and MLAs, among others, Dorjee Khandu�s mortal remains were consigned to flames amid chanting of mantras by the Buddhist monks.

Earlier, the final journey of late Khandu began at 8 in the morning as thousands of mourners took out his body from his Lemberdung residence with a ceremonial procession to the cremation ground after Chief Minister Gamlin, his cabinet colleagues, Speaker Wanglin Lowangdong, AICC leaders Dhaniram Shandil and Sanjoy Bapna, legislators and other senior officials paid their tributes to the departed soul.

Smokes from tsang (incense sticks and dhuna), being burnt by the people along the street through which the cavalcade proceeded to the cremation ground, engulfed the entire Tawang sky even as hundreds of people with moist eyes and heavy hearts were waiting to bid adieu to their beloved leader. More than 7,000 mourners, holding the blazing incense sticks in their hands murmured hymns as they silently followed the procession with Khandu�s body to the cremation ground.

At the cremation ground, before Khandu�s body was consigned to flames, Chief Minister Gamlin read out a brief citation on life and achievements of the late chief minister.

�It is the saddest day of our State and the Nation as we gathered here today to pay our respectful adieu to our beloved leader. Dorjee Khandu was an ocean of compassion, pure, virtuous, a visionary and a pioneer of modern Arunachal Pradesh. It is very hard to believe that the man of his stature who had been widely loved by the people in the state as well as the entire nation is no more amongst us,� said Gamlin with tearful eyes.

�In his death, the country has lost an eminent leader, an able administrator who was committed to all round development. I too have lost a compassionate brother, a mentor, a guiding figure and above all, a very good human being. The vacuum that has been created will never be filled,� said the new CM and promised to follow the footprints of late Khandu to carry forward his vision he had for Arunachal Pradesh.

The Abbot of Tawang Monastery, Guru T Rinpoche also read out the life and achievements of late Khandu in Monpa dialect.