Pulivendula (Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh), Sep.4 (ANI): Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajsekhara Reddy, who tragically died in a helicopter crash on Wednesday morning, was on Friday buried with full state honours in his native village of Pulivendula in Kadapa District.
As the tricolour draped coffin carrying his body was taken to the burial site, the grief stricken crowd, which had gathered in tens of thousands, showered rose petals and other flowers on it. The outpouring of grief was palpable for all to see. YSR’s son, Jaganmohan Reddy and his other relatives went around the burial venue in an open truck with folded hands to thank the people for their presence and support at this tragic time in their lives.
Security persons had a hard time keeping the thronging crowd at bay to allow family members to perform the last rites. Close to 1500 security personnel were deployed at the venue to keep things under control.
As his coffin was placed inside the grave on the family estate by the side of the graves of his parents, as he had wished, YSR’s well-wishers showered mud, rice puffs, salt, flowers and wreathes on it. Some knelt on their knees and prayed for the departed soul. Tearful family members, including his grandchildren, gathered closely together to bid farewell.
Earlier, the tricolour-draped coffin was brought to YSR’s hometown by an Indian Air Force helicopter from Hyderabad.
After lying in state at the Lal Bahadur Shastri stadium in Hyderabad for a couple of hours, the coffin was taken to Hyderabad’s Begumpet Airport and transferred to the family estate in Pulivendula for final rites.
Leaders and politicians from different parties, including former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, BJP president Rajnath Singh and senior BJP leader L.K.Advani were among those who paid floral tribute to the departed leader.
There was a sea of humanity in the city, in the stadium and at the final resting place, some of them quite distraught and emotional at seeing the cortege carrying the body of their son of the soil.
In the morning, the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi paid homage to the late chief minister at his official residence in Hyderabad.
Reddy, who died in a helicopter crash along with four others on Wednesday morning, also received floral tribute from other Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Defence Minister A K Antony and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit at the Chief Minister’s Camp office in Hyderabad’s Begumpet area.
The Andhra Pradesh Government has declared seven days of state mourning in honour of YSR and cancelled all the official programs in the state.
Reddy’s Bell 430 chopper went missing on Wednesday morning at about 9.35 and could only be located almost 24 hours later on Thursday morning following a night long search operation by different units of security personnel including Army’s Commandos, Air Force’s Sukhoi-30, and 5,000 CRPF personnel.
The wreckage was discovered atop a hill about 40 nautical miles from Kurnoool town.
Along with YSR, four others-Dr P Subramanium, the Special Secretary to the Chief Minister; ASC Wesley, Chief Security Officer and two pilots Group Captain SK Bhatia and Captain MS Reddy-died in the crash. (ANI)