Former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral was today cremated here with full state honours in the presence of the country’s top leadership, including President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Amid prayers and a 21-gun salute, his body was consigned to flames at Smriti Sthal on the banks of Yamuna where Vice-President Hamid Ansari and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi were also present.

The last rites were performed by his two sons, including Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral, and his grandson at Smriti Sthal, located between Jawaharlal Nehru’s memorial ‘Shanti Van’ and Lal Bahadur Shastri’s ‘Vijay Ghat’.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, Law Minister Ashwani Kumar, Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah, Petroleum Minister Jaipal Reddy, BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Arun Jaitley, Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala, LJP’s Ramvilas Paswan, JD-S Danish Ali, Amar Singh and some senior bureaucrats attended the cremation.

Diplomats from various countries were also present.

The body, draped in tricolour, was brought to Smriti Sthal from his 5-Janpath residence in a flower bedecked gun-carriage accompanied by military personnel and close family.

Officers from the three armed forces carried on their shoulders the mortal remains of Gujral to the cremation ground as he was accorded a state funeral.

(This article was published on December 1, 2012)
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