Bhupen Hazarika's last rites performed


By Hindustan Times

Legendary singer Bhupen Hazarika's last rites were perfomed in Guwahati on Wednesday. There was public outpouring of grief as lakhs of people from across Assam and other northeastern states turned out to pay their last respects to the stalwart.

Thousands of mourners lined up to pay their last respects as cultural icon Bhupen Hazarika's last journey from the historic Judges Field to his final resting place at the Gauhati University began amidst tight security on Wednesday.

The gates of the Judges Field, where his body was kept inside a glass casket and draped in traditional Assamese 'gamosa', was closed to the public at 5am to allow his family members to spend sometime with the maestro's body before his final journey.

Hazarika's son Tez Bhupen Hazarika, who will perform the last rites, his companion of nearly 40 years Kalpana Lajmi, nephews and other family members performed religious rituals before the casket was placed on a flower bedecked vehicle.

Tez, a practising Buddhist, will perform the last rites as per the Hindu traditions.

Hazarika will be cremated with full state honours his final resting place at the Gauhati University. The Assam government has declared a state holiday.

Assam governor JB Patnaik, chief minister Tarun Gogoi, Union DONER minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, who is representing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj are among the thousands of mourners who are attending the last rites of the maestro.

Hazarika's last rites, earlier scheduled to be held on Tuesday, was postponed by the state government till Wednesday after people from all over the state and North East came out to pay their last respects.