Pune, July 13 (IANS) The mortal remains of Sindhi spiritual leader Dada J. P. Vaswani were cremated with state honours at the Sadhu Vaswani Mission (SVM) here on Friday evening, an official said.
Dada Vaswani, 99, passed away on Thursday morning following a brief illness, barely three weeks ahead of his 100th birthday on August 2.
Earlier, many thousands of people from different religions thronged the SVM to pay their last respects to the departed leader, revered as an ambassador of peace.
Among the dignitaries who paid their homage to Dada Vaswani included former President Pratibha Patil and Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani.
The ex-President was seen comforting an emotional Advani as they both sat besides Dada Vaswani’s body for some time while devotional songs were rendered in the background.
Several prominent Sindhi personalities, businessmen, realtors, industrialists from India and other countries came down to bid adieu to the departed leader.
Dada Vaswani’s nephew, Kumar Vaswani, rushed from the US to join the funeral, besides certain other relatives.
On Friday morning, Dada Vaswani’s body, draped in the National Tricolour, was taken out in an open truck procession from the SVM headquarters to different localities of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad to enable a last ‘darshan’ to his admirers.
The procession traversed through prominent localities like Council Call, Poona Club, Quarter Gate, Irwin Road, Babajan Chowk, MG Road, Nehru Memorial Hall and Shanti Kunj, where thousands of grieving Puneites bid their last farewell.
Most areas from where the funeral procession passed observed a spontaneous shutdown as a mark of respect.