New Delhi, Sept 1 (PTI) Wearing masks and maintaining a six-feet distance, people and political workers cutting across party lines stood in long queues to pay their last respect to former president Pranab Mukherjee at his residence before his last rites on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, the mortal remains of India's 13th president, who died on Monday after a three-week battle with multiple ailments, were taken to his residence from the Army's Research and Referral hospital in a flower-bedecked white vehicle.
As the nation observed seven-day mourning in honour of its 'Bharat Ratna', a long-time Congress politician and one of India's most respected people in public life, a host of leaders and others visited his 10 Rajaji Marg residence.
Congress party workers said that their leaders offered floral tribute at a photo of Mukherjee, and they were able to see his mortal remains from a distance, kept in another room.
All those who arrived to catch a glimpse of Mukherjee for one last time and to pay their tribute wore masks, while some also had face shields on.
The security staff managing the crowd wore face shields. In view of COVID-19 related protocols, arrangements were made to carry the mortals of the former president in a hearse van instead of a normal gun carriage.
Staff members wearing PPE kits put his body in the herse van for the final journey to the Lodi Road crematorium.
Mukherjee had tested positive for COVID-19 at the time of his admission to the hospital and was being treated for a lung infection. He suffered a septic shock on Sunday and died of a cardiac arrest at 4.30 pm on Monday.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chiefs of the three defence services and politicians cutting across party lines paid their last respects to the former president at his residence.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen M M Naravane, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria and Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh visited the late president's home to condole his death.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, BJP chief J P Nadda, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and CPI's D Raja and several Union ministers such as Nirmala Sitharaman and Harsh Vardhan were among those who paid homage to him. PTI GVS NIT BUN NSD