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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Vijayakanth’s body shifted to Island grounds for public to pay homage

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Chennai: Wading through grieving hundreds and thousands of his fans, party cadres,
the body of actor-politician and DMDK Founder Vijayakanth, who passed away on Thursday, was shifted to the sprawling Island grounds in the city to enable the public to pay their homage, on Friday morning.

After lakhs of people paid their last respects at the DMDk office, his body was shifted to the Island Grounds in view of the surging crowd that poured all through the day yesterday to pay their respects.

At Island grounds, Union finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and other film celebrities including Rajinikanth are expected to pay their last respects today noon.

From Island grounds, it will be taken to the party office for last rites, which will be performed later this evening with full state honours.

Earlier, an unending steady stream of mourners filed past his body, which was brought from his residence to the DMDK party office at Koyambedu, before being shifted to the Island grounds today morning.

It was earlier scheduled to shift the body at 0400 hrs today, but was delayed by nearly an hour due to milling crowds as police found it difficult to control them.

Even as the ambulance carrying his body left for Island grounds, the vehicle waded through a sea of humanity who had thronged on both sides of the roads to pay their tributes and showered petals on the vehicle.

It may be recalled that following a request from his wife and DMDK General Secretary Premalatha to keep the body at the Rajaji Hall, where the mortal remains of the leading
lights of Tamil Nadu, including Annadurai, MGR, J.Jayalalithaa, were kept for public to pay homage, the Tamil Nadu government, taking into account the massive crowd that poured in from across the State, has decided to shift it to the Island grounds.

The body will be kept at Island grounds from 0600 hrs today morning to 1300 hrs after which his final journey will begin and taken to the DMDK office where it will be laid to rest with full state honours as announced by Chief Minister M.K.Stalin after paying tributes at his residence.

Following the government’s decision, Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner J.Radhakrishnan inspected the arrangements at the Island grounds, from where his final journey will commence at 1300 hrs and culminate at DMDK office were the last rites will be performed at 1645 hrs, a DMDK statement said. .

As hundreds and thousands of people, including top political leaders, cutting across party lines, film actors, actresses and wailing DMDK cadres, including wailing women by beating their chests, and public thronged the party office in massive numbers to pay their last respects and have a last glimpse of Captain, as he was affectionately called, police had a difficult time in controlling the surging crowd, that kept increasing with every passing second yesterday. .

Several areas in the city witnessed traffic snarls and taking these into consideration it has been decided to shift his body to the Island grounds, official said.

Earlier, from the MIOT hospital where he breathed his last, his body was taken to his Saligramam residence and then shifted to the DMDK office opposite to the Koyambedu Mofussil Bus terminus.

Apart from top political leaders in the country, condolences also poured in from across the globe.

Meanwhile, the Tamil film industry announced that all the shooting events will be cancelled for the day as a mark of respect to the departed leader, who had brought back the loss-making South Indian Film Artistes Association, back to profitability during its tenure as its President.

As mourning DMDK cadres took out silent processions and organised candle light vigils, shops and commercial establishments also remained closed today in as a mark of respect to Mr Vijayakanth, reports received here said.

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