M A I N   N E W S

Surender’s body consigned to flames
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Bhiwani, April 1
The mortal remains of Agriculture Minister Surender Singh were consigned to the flames at his ancestral village Golagarh, near here, today with full state honours. He had been killed in a helicopter crash near Saharanpur on Thursday along with Power Minister O.P. Jindal.

The body of Surender Singh was brought here by an Indian Air Force helicopter. It was received by his father, former Chief Minister Bansi Lal. It was taken to his residence here to enable people to pay their last homage. A steady stream of mourners filed past the body. Surender Singh’s widow, Ms Kiran Chaudhary, who is a prominent Congress leader of Delhi, and his daughter, Shruti, sat shell-shocked beside the body of the departed leader.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Union Home Minister Shiv Raj Patil and Haryana Congress chief Bhajan Lal were among those who paid homage and consoled a frail looking and shocked former Chief Minister Bansi Lal.

The body was taken to Golagarh in the afternoon for cremation. Hundreds of people, including women and children, paid homage en route with bowed heads at every village. Thousands of people from all over Haryana attended the cremation. The large ground was packed with mourners who chanted slogans of “Surender Singh amar rahe”.

The Chief Minister, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, his Cabinet colleagues, the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheela Dixit, a Union Minister, Ms Shelja, Mr Ashok Gehlot, former Rajasthan Chief Minister, Mr Jagdish Tytler and important leaders of all political parties attended the last rites.

The funeral procession was led by a contingent of the Haryana police in slow march. The contingent reversed arms and gave a gun salute. Police buglers sounded the last post while the dead leader’s supporters chanted slogans.

Hundreds of mourners remained at the cremation ground even after the VIPs and the family members of Surender Singh left. Truckloads of mourners were seen proceeding towards the cremation ground well after the cremation had taken place.

A complete bandh was observed here and at Toshan and Loharu in memory of the departed leader.

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