Imphal, Aug 23 (IANS): Former Manipur Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Rishang Keishing, who died on Tuesday, will be buried on Friday, family sources said on Wednesday.
The burial would take place in his village Bungpa in Manipur's Ukhrul district. Keishing, 97, died on Tuesday night in an Imphal hospital where he was admitted on July 1.
Hundreds of politicians, social activists and others have been visiting his home in Mantri Pukhri near Imphal since Wednesday morning.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, his Congress predecessor Okram Ibobi Singh and many others have condoled the death of Keishing, a Tangkhul tribe leader who served as state Minister, Speaker, Chief Minister and MP in both houses of Parliament.
"Manipur has lost a brilliant leader," said Biren Singh.
"In honour of the departed soul of the people's leader, Manipur shall mourn for three days. All government offices and educational institutes are closed on Wednesday as a mark of respect to him," the Chief Minister said.
Former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said: "People have lost a father figure. It will be no easy task to fill the void."
A freedom fighter and a member of India's first parliament (1952-57), Keishing retired from the Rajya Sabha as its oldest member in 2014 after serving two terms since being elected to the Upper House in 2002.
As Manipur Chief Minister from 1980 to 1988 and from 1995 to 1998, he escaped assassination attempts by militants several times.
Former Manipur Home Minister and ex-State Congress president Gaikhangam said: "He was a true leader of the people."
"He had done everything for us. All of us should now join hands to revamp the Congress, a thing he would have loved to see," Manipur Congress president and former minister TN Haokip added.
Keishing's body was brought to the Congress office where the rank and file paid the last tributes.
Hailing from Ukhrul district of Manipur, Keishing did his schooling in Shillong and started his career as a school teacher.
Messages of condolences are pouring in from many parts of the country, family sources said.