As last journey of veteran CPM leader Jyoti Basu begins with flower-bedecked body being brought to the party headquarters in Kolkata, thousands of people tried to break police barricades for a last glimpse of their leader, reported IANS.
Tearful CPI-M politburo members, including general secretary Prakash Karat and chief ministers of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, carried the body on their shoulders from the hearse and placed it on a makeshift platform, as slogans like ‘Jyoti Basu amar rahe’ and ‘Long Live Jyoti Basu’ rent the air, said report.
Former West Bengal chief minister’s grand daughters – Koel, Doel and Payal – broke down in torrents of tears as they garlanded Basu, who breathed his last at a city nursing home on January 17 after a long battle for life.
Report said that the 31, Alimuddin Street Office had a sombre atmposhere with senior party leaders and leaders of other partners of the Left Front were crestfallen, some of them sobbing, as they filed past the body covered with a red party flag.
The CPM headquarters built in 1982 was party of Basu’s daily constitutional till old age and until he was confined to his Salt Lake home due to ill-health.
Earlier, Basu’s last journey started amid shouts of ‘Comrade Jyoti Basu lal salaam’, when his body was taken out of the funeral parlour ‘Peace Haven’ – where it had been kept since Sunday and placed in a hearse, said report.
Kolkata police sergeants and three pilot cars were the vanguards of the cortege, with four other sergeants providing side cover to the hearse – fitted with transparent fibre glass for people to have the last glimpse of the mass leader, report said.
Six red flags at half-mast were on the hearse; inside which sat some leaders including Basu’s long time aid Joykrishna Ghosh.