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Saturday, December 09 2023

Oommen Chandy’s funeral to be led by 20 bishops, 1,000 priests

It’s not over, Oommen Chandy will ‘live’ on forever
Photo Credit : IANS

Thiruvananthapuram, July 20: Even though the body of two-time former Congress Chief Minister Oommen Chandy is yet to reach the St George Orthodox Church, Puthupally in Kottayam, all arrangements are in place for the last rites.

A record 20 bishops from various churches and 1000 priests will lead the funeral service. According to rough estimates it will be around 9 p.m when the body will be interned in the grave that the Orthodox Church has sanctioned in the symmetry of his home parish.

The hearse which left his home in the state capital at 7 a.m, on Wednesday is yet to reach his home in Puthupally located just 150 kms away.

By now lakhs of people have had a glimpse of Chandy’s mortal remains. The Kottayam district collector has said that no time bar would be fixed, but the body will be interned on Thursday itself.

Ever since his death in Bengaluru on Tuesday before sunrise, there have been no other news in the dozen TV channels in the state other than news of Chandy’s death.

“ I have been in politics for the past five decades and I am yet to see a last journey in Kerala like what we have been seeing for the past three days. It speaks about who was Oommen Chandy. Such a thing will never ever happen again as there will be none like this great humane person. Lakhs turning up to bid him goodbye is because he loved all and he has got it back,” said Congress leader and Lok Sabha member Rajmohan Unnithan.

Superstar Mammootty, who was seen jostling to pay his last respects, wrote in Facebook, “I was commissioned to write the introduction to his autobiography. Let’s write the lines to be written here, ‘No one has given a doctorate to Oommen  Chandy’. If it is given, it will be for the love of humanity…”.

Chandy’s long time close associate M.M.Hassan said OC gave love and respect to all who met him at least once in the past 50 years  and just see  the people have returned it back more than 50 times.

“ I doubt if anyone has witnessed a last journey like this. Just see the placards that have been held up. All what was written on it is from the person’s hearts and all those who came to see, came on their own,” said Hassan who’s been seated in the hearse for the past 30 hours.

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