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Tearful adieu to Prof Puri

New Delhi, December 30
Mathematics wizard M.C. Puri, shot dead in the Bangalore terror attack, was cremated here on Friday in the presence of about 150 misty eyed family members, friends and admirers.

Students, including many who had passed out from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) where he taught even after retirement, were in large attendance at the Lodi Road crematorium in south Delhi.

As in the past two days, no one could stop praising Professor Puri, who was one of the most respected academics ever produced from ITT Delhi.

Crying uncontrollably before the pyre, R.N. Kaul, who once taught Professor Puri, told IANS: I have lost my best student. He was like a son to me. The elderly Kaul added that Puri used to come to him whenever he faced problems and was planning to organise an international conference of mathematicians here.

Among the mourners was S.R. Arora, Principal, Hansraj College, and a former student of Professor Puri.

He had taught me and I used to often visit him for guidance, Mr Arora said.

I have lost my guide forever. Professor Puris only son Saurabh lit the pyre amid the chanting of Hindu prayers.

Professor Puri had gone to Bangalore to attend a three-day international seminar at the Indian Institute of Science when a terrorist who barged in opened fire on Wednesday killing him instantly and injuring five others.

According to his family, Professor Puri saved a young women student of his by pushing her aside before getting shot.

Vinay Trehan, a former student, said: We were a group of 14 students all taught by him in the college. His death has come as a shock for us. Added Manohar Lal, a Mathematics Professor at the Indira Gandhi Open University.

Many other students and IIT teachers stood silently, with prayers on their lips, but politely declining to speak about a man they regarded very highly. IANS

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