Karunanidhi begins journey to finally rest at Marina

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Chennai, Aug 8 (IANS) DMK President and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday began his final journey on a flower-decked military vehicle from Rajaji Hall where his body was lying in state since early in the morning.

The tri-colour covered body of the 94-year-old veteran politician was put on a military vehicle by military personnel shortly before 4 p.m.

Karunanidhi’s body will be interred in a sandalwood casket and lowered into the earth at Marina Beach.

As per Karunanidhi’s wish, the wordings — “The person who had worked without rest is resting here” — was sculpted on the casket.

DMK leader and Karunanidhi’s son M.K. Stalin, accompanied by party leaders, walked ahead of the military vehicle as the funeral procession made slow progress, with thousands crowding the streets.

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Many waved DMK’s red-and-black flags and flashed pictures of Karunanidhi.

The DMK leader’s final resting place will be near his mentor and DMK founder and former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai.

The Madras High Court on Wednesday gave its nod to bury Karunanidhi at Marina Beach after a legal battle. The government had initially refused permission.

Karunanidhi, who led the DMK for the past five decades, was the Chief Minister for 19 years spread over five tenures.

The DMK had earlier said the vehicle carrying Karunanidhi’s body will reach Anna Square on the Marina Beach, covering a distance of less than three kilometres.

Stalin has appealed to people to keep calm during the final journey. Shortly afterwards, two persons were killed in a stampede outside Rajaji Hall.

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