M Karunanidhi was on Wednesday laid to rest at Marina Beach, next to the memorial of his mentor CN Annadurai. This was after the Madras High Court rejected the Tamil Nadu government’s objections against his burial at the Marina Beach.
Late Karunanidhi’s party, the DMK, had on Tuesday moved the High Court against the state government’s refusal forcing the acting chief justice to hear the matter well post the midnight.
The matter was then deferred to Wednesday morning as the high court directed the state government to file its response on the matter. A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice S S Sundar passed the order on a petition filed by the DMK at a special hearing, marked by heated arguments by counsels representing the petitioner and the government.
The bench directed the state government to forthwith provide place for a decent burial of Karunanidhi, who passed away last evening, within the precincts of the burial place of DMK founder C N Annadurai in consonance with the rough sketch submitted by the petitioner.
“There is no legal impediment for not allotting the place…,” PTI quoted the bench.
Karunanidhi’s body was taken to Chennai’s Marina Beach for burial from Rajaji Hall amidst a sea of DMK supporters lining the funeral procession. Notable among those present at the burial place at the beach were Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had visited Chennai to pay his last respect for the five-term chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
A PTI flash said that no Hindu rituals were performed as Karunanidhi was a self-proclaimed atheist and rationalist. In poignant scenes, his son MK Stalin was seen crying inconsolably after touching his father’s feet before the casket containing Karunanidhi’s body was lowered into the grave.
The DMK patriarch had died at Chennai’s Kauvery Hospital on Tuesday. He was 94.
In an incredibly moving letetr, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had termed Karunanidhi’s death as a “personal loss”, saying that he was like a “father figure” to her and the country had become poorer without his wise statesmanship.
In a letter to Karunanidhi’s son and DMK chief M K Stalin, Gandhi said ‘Kalaignar’ was a towering figure in the world of politics and public service in both Tamil Nadu and the country.
“For me, Kalaignar’s loss is very personal. He always showed me great kindness and consideration, which I can never forget. He was like a father figure to me,” she wrote.
“We shall not see the like of Kalaignar again, and our nation is poorer without his wise statesmanship, and his dedication to our country and our people,” she had added.