Venkataraman cremated with full state honours (Lead)

January 28th, 2009 - 10:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilNew Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) Former president R. Venkataraman, who passed away Tuesday, was cremated with full state honours here Wednesday afternoon with President Pratibha Patil leaing the nation in paying last respects to the leader.The body of the 98-year-old Venkataraman was consigned to flames amid chanting of Vedic hymns at the Ekta Sthal, on the banks of the river Yamuna, at 5 p.m.

His eldest son-in-law, K. Venkatraman, lit the funeral pyre.

Besides President Patil, a large number of dignitaries paid floral tributes to the former president.

Among them were Vice-President Hamid Ansari, former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, three Service chiefs Admiral Sureesh Mehta, General Deepak Kapoor and Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major, Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha L.K. Advani, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit and several union ministers and leaders of political parties.

For Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is recuperating after a heart surgery Saturday, Minister of State Prithviraj Chavan paid floral tributes.

Venkataraman passed away at the Army Research and Referral Hospital here Tuesday.

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