Amid chaos of mourners, Pataudi laid to restSeptember 23rd, 2011 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS
Pataudi (Haryana), Sep 23 (IANS) Amid chaotic scenes, including a brief cane charge by the Haryana police, India’s first cricket superstar, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, was laid to rest at the family burial ground of the Nawabs of Pataudi here Friday afternoon.
Thousands of mourners thronged the Pataudi palace in Haryana’s Gurgaon district for a last glimpse of the former cricketer and ninth and last Nawab of Pataudi.
He passed away in New Delhi’s Sir Ganga Ram hospital Thursday evening after battling severe lung infection for the last few days.
Pataudi’s actor son Saif Ali Khan and close family members and friends led the cortege as his mortal remains were brought to be buried near the graves of his father and mother on the rear side of the palace complex.
There was complete chaos and a stampede-like situation as hundreds of people, especially those from adjoining villages, sought a glimpse of the famous cricketer and their former ruler.
The tents and other arrangements made by the family and local authorities proved inadequate.
Dressed in a white kurta-pajama, Saif Ali Khan offered prayers with Muslim clerics before Pataudi’s body was lowered into the grave.
Braving the heat and dust, men, women, youth and children tried to get close to the doors of the white-coloured palace to catch a glimpse.
The police had to resort to mild cane charge to disperse the crowds, which only seemed to be growing in numbers.
At times, people fell on each other as they tried to get closer to the palace.
Pataudi’s wife, veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, son Saif Ali Khan’s partner Kareena Kapoor, both Bollywood stars, and daughters Soha and Saba watched the burial from the first floor of the palace.
Hundreds stood near the place of burial below.
The family had accompanied his body, brought here in an ambulance, in separate cars Friday morning from their Vasant Kunj residence in New Delhi.
Old timers in this small township, 26 km from Gurgaon city, remembered the most famous resident of Pataudi town as he was brought here.
“He was such an humble man despite attaining such heights in all fields. The social work done by him through his family trusts has helped children, especially girls, in getting education and healthcare facilities. He will always be remembered for his great deeds,” a Muslim cleric present at the burial ceremony said.
Since early morning, people from adjoining villages chipped in to prepare the burial place for Pataudi, popularly known as ‘Tiger’ in cricketing and social circles.
Muslim prayers (Namaaz) were offered at the local mosque in Pataudi, in the presence of family members and close friends, before the burial ceremony.
Earlier, at the Vasant Kunj residence of the Pataudi family in New Delhi, a large number of people, including senior politicians, celebrities, film stars and cricketers and cricket administrators lined up to pay their last respects.
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