Thousands gather for Vajpayee’s ashes immersion

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A huge crowd converged at Har ki Pauri at Haridwar on Sunday to bid final farewell to their beloved leader and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as his ashes were immersed in the Ganga river by family members and BJP leaders.

Vajpayee’s adopted daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya and other family members along with top party leaders including BJP President Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his Uttarakhand counterpart Trivendra Singh Rawat were present during the immersion of his ashes amid chanting of vedic hymns.

A platform had been especially raised at Brahmakund below the stairs leading into the river where the rituals were performed.

The narrow 2 km stretch had been flooded with people, who had come in reverence to the departed soul. The convoy started from Bhalla college ground and went to Har Ki Pauri with a host of the BJP leader’s well-wishers.

People were also seen standing on the balconies and rooftops to witness the slow passage of the convoy carrying the urn through overcrowded streets.

Vajpayee’s son in law Ranjan Bhattacharya carried the urn through the surging crowds to Brahmakund (Har Ki Pauri) where it was later immersed in the Ganga amid elaborate rituals performed by “Teerth purohits” (priests) and the cries of “Atal Ji Amar Rahein” echoed in the area.

The rituals lasted for around 20 minutes as a huge crowd waited at the ghats on either side of the river to witness the process in total reverence.

Elaborate security arrangements had been made from Jollygrant Airport to Har Ki Pauri in view of the VIP movement along the route.

Over one thousand police and PAC personnel were deployed to maintain vigil and law and order during the immersion of ashes.

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