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TURA: The mortal remains of Late Purno A. Sangma, former Chief Minister of Meghalaya and former Lok Sabha Speaker, was flown in to Tura in an Army chopper shortly after 12 noon, accompanied by Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan, Union Minister of State for DoNER Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and his family members.
As Late Sangma's body was being taken from the helipad at Dobasipara to his residence at Walbakgre followed by convoy of vehicles across Tura town, people thronged on both sides of the streets to have a last glimpse of their beloved leader. All shops and business establishments remained closed on the arrival of the body as a mark of respect to the late leader.
The body will be laid in state at his residence till the State funeral on Monday.
Late Sangma's residence at Walbakgre became a sea of humanity as thousands of people from all walks of life had gathered there to receive the mortal remains and show their solidarity to the bereaved family. A brief meeting was conducted at the residence where the Governor, the Union ministers and other visiting officials paid homage to departed leader.
Paying his tributes, the Governor said Late P A Sangma was the embodiment of the best qualities of a politician and likened his towering personality to that of the Himalayas. He called upon the family members and the people to carry forward and realize the dream of the late leader, particularly for creating employment to all the unemployed youths of the region.
Union Minister of State, DoNER, Dr. Singh, who was moved to witness a sea of humanity along the streets waiting to have a last look at their leader, said it was "unusual". Paying rich tributes to Late leader, he said Late P.A.Sangma played a crucial role in bringing North East to the mainstream, adding that he was a role model for other parliamentarians in conduct of the House.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju said that had come down to Tura to pay the last tributes on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and referred to Late Sangma as the first political face of North East. He fondly recalled the late leader as his personal guide, whom he had known since his student days.
Late P.A.Sangma's son and former Finance Minister Conrad K. Sangma thanked the Government of India for its support, saying that it was due to their intervention they were able to bring back his father's body home. NEC Secretary, Ram Muivah was among many other dignitaries present in paying their homage.
Later a prayer service was held in memory of the departed leader which was attended by thousands of people from all over Garo Hills, as dignitaries keep arriving in Tura to pay their last respects to Late P A Sangma.