Tuesday, December 07, 2021

February 13, 1977, Forty Years Ago: President’s burial

Ahmed is to be buried on Saturday at a spot close to the Jama Masjid. Ahmed is the second president, after Zakir Hussain, to die in office.

By: Editorials |
February 13, 2017 12:01:38 am
Over a lakh of people paid their last respects. At 6 p.m. when the gates were scheduled to close, long queues still extended up to Vijay Chowk. Over a lakh of people paid their last respects. At 6 p.m. when the gates were scheduled to close, long queues still extended up to Vijay Chowk.

Thousands of mourners streamed into the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan where the body of the late president, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, lay in state. Over a lakh of people paid their last respects. At 6 p.m. when the gates were scheduled to close, long queues still extended up to Vijay Chowk. Hundreds waited outside Rashtrapati Bhavan before the gates were opened in the morning. Among those who visited the Durbar Hall to pay homage were the prime minister, Indira Gandhi, Jayaprakash Narayan and governors and chief ministers of several states. In the morning, Sheikh Abdullah and his begum recited a long prayer and laid wreaths on the body. Ahmed, 72, succumbed to a massive heart attack on Friday, February 11. Vice-President B.D. Jatti was sworn in as president within two hours of doctors declaring Ahmed dead at 8.52 a.m. Rafia Sultana Moaezam, sister of Ahmed, arrived in Delhi from Karachi with three other relatives to attend the burial. Ahmed is to be buried on Saturday at a spot close to the Jama Masjid. Ahmed is the second president, after Zakir Hussain, to die in office.

Thakur, Scindia free

Karpoori Thakur, former chief minister of Bihar and top leader of the Janata Party, was released from detention. Thakur met his party colleague, Madhu Limaye, at a common friend’s house in Patna, where a big gathering of party workers received him. Thakur had been arrested on January 30 when he surfaced in public for the first time since the proclamation of the Emergency and attended the public meeting in Patna which was addressed by Jayaprakash Narayan. A report datelined Bhopal said the Madhya Pradesh government has ordered the release of Vijayaraje Scindia from detention.

No contest for Bhutto

Pakistan’s Election Commission has dismissed an opposition candidate’s complaint and declared the prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, elected unopposed to the National Assembly in the upcoming general election.

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