A huge crowd converged at Har ki Pauri in Haridwar on Sunday to bid final farewell to their beloved leader and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as his ashes were immersed in the Ganga river by family members and BJP leaders.
Top party leaders including BJP president Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his Uttarakhand counterpart Trivendra Singh Rawat, Vajpayee’s adopted daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya and other family members of Vajpayee were present as the urn carrying his ashes was emptied into the river amid chanting of vedic hymns.
ALSO READ: ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE CREMATED IN DELHI
A platform had been especially raised at Brahmakund below the stairs leading into the river where the rituals were performed. Earlier a sea of humanity followed the flower bedecked truck that carried Vajpayee’s urn through the narrow 2 km stretch in reverence to the departed leader. The convoy started from Bhalla college ground and went to Har Ki Pauri with a host of people.
People were also seen standing on the balconies and rooftops to witness the slow passage of the convoy carrying the urn through overcrowded streets. Vajpayee’s son in law Ranjan Bhattacharya carried the urn through the surging crowds to Brahmakund- Har Ki Pauri, where it was later immersed in the Ganga amid elaborate rituals performed by “Teerth purohits” (priests) and the cries of “Atal Ji Amar Rahein” rent the air.
The rituals lasted around 20 minutes as a huge crowd waited at the ghats on either side of the river to witness the process in total reverence. It was during Vajpayee’s tenure as Prime Minister that Uttarakhand was granted statehood in 2000.
Elaborate security arrangements were made from Jollygrant airport to Har Ki Pauri in view of the VIP movement along the route. Over one thousand police and PAC personnel were deployed to maintain vigil and law and order during the immersion of ashes.
(With inputs from PTI)