The body of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who died on Monday evening in the capital of Meghalaya, was flown to New Delhi on Tuesday morning.
Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmughanathan, Home Minister Roshan Warjri, Assembly Speaker Abu Taher Mondal and Director General of Civil Defence and Home Guards R.K. Sharma accompanied Kalam’s body.
From Shillong, his body was carried by a special Indian Air Force helicopter to Guwahati airport and from there his body was flown to New Delhi on Indian Air Force aircraft C-130.
The former president died at 7.45 p.m. on Monday in a private hospital in Shillong after he collapsed while delivering a lecture on “Liveable Planet” to students of the Indian Institute of Management-Shillong.
An official communique from Bethany Hospital said Kalam was brought to the hospital at 7 p.m.
“He was received in the emergency room and on arrival, Kalam showed no spontaneous respiration, no pulse, blood pressure was not recordable, pupils fixed and dilated. Intubation was done immediately and CPR started,” hospital medical consultant A.M. Kharbamon said in the statement.
She said Kalam was shifted to the ICU immediately but could not be revived.
Meanwhile, the Meghalaya government has declared Tuesday as a holiday in the state as a mark of respect to the former president.
Kalam was a leading light, says Modi:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed his deep condolences over the death of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, saying he was a leading light who will be always remembered for his services to the country.
“India mourns the loss of a great scientist, a wonderful president and above all an inspiring individual. Rest in peace Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam,” Modi said.
“My mind is filled with so many memories, so many interactions with him. Always marvelled at his intellect, learnt so much from him,” he said.
Modi said Kalam enjoyed being with people and they, in turn, adored him.
“He loved students and spent his final moments among them,” the prime minister said, adding that Kalam’s work as president, his life and his words have given direction to the country.
“In personal capacity, I have lost a valuable guide. India has lost a great son who worked to make it strong, who spent each moment of his life to empower the youth. I don’t think that the void left by the great man will ever be filled.”
“I again bow to the work of the great man… I do not have words to say,” Modi said.
Kalam, who was India’s president from 2002 to 2007, died in a Shillong hospital on Monday evening. He was delivering a lecture at IIM-Shillong.