DMK chief M Karunanidhi buried with state honours at Chennai's Marina beach
Chennai: M Karunanidhi, a towering figure in Tamil Nadu politics, was given a state funeral and buried at Chennai's Marina Beach on Wednesday, in the presence of the country's top politicians. A massive crowd followed the DMK patriarch's casket from Rajaji Hall, where leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi had paid tribute to him earlier in the day. Two people were killed as the rush for a final glimpse of "Kalaignar", as the police used batons to control the surging crowds. The Madras High Court allowed Karunanidhi's burial at Marina Beach after overnight drama over the ruling AIADMK's refusal to give the five-time chief minister space at the beachfront which has memorials to three other former chief ministers including J Jayalalithaa. Karunanidhi died on Tuesday at 94.
Here are the top 10 updates on M Karunanidhi's last journey:
Several political leaders from across the country were at Marina Beach for the funeral.
Karunanidhi, who always appeared in public wearing dark glasses and a yellow shawl draped over his shoulder, was wrapped in the national flag.
Karunanidhi was buried close to the memorial of his mentor CN Annadurai, another former chief minister. His casket said "A person who continued to work without rest, now takes rest."
The AIADMK government had yesterday refused DMK's request to bury their leader at Marina Beach, a decision that was criticised by many in Tamil Nadu and beyond.
Hours after Karunanidhi's death, the Madras High Court held a midnight hearing at the home of the acting chief justice to take up DMK's request for a burial site at Marina Beach.
Mr Stalin was seen breaking down on learning of the court's decision to allow the former chief minister's burial site at Marina Beach. A loud cheer rose up from supporters outside the Rajaji Hall and those waiting at the beach.
Defending its decision in court, the ruling party had said only chief ministers who died in office have memorials at Marina Beach. There is no such law, the DMK shot back, asserting that it would be an "insult" if their leader was not buried near his mentor CN Annadurai.
The government had offered a two-acre plot near Gandhi Mandapam, the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. "That cannot be termed as a decent burial. Those buried there have ideologies different from the Dravidian movement," the DMK argued in court.
Earlier, all petitioners who challenged the memorial for Jayalalithaa at Marina Beach had withdrawn their cases. To begin with, the only two Tamil Nadu chief ministers to have memorials at Marina beach were Chief Ministers CN Annadurai, who founded the DMK and MG Ramachandran, who launched the AIADMK.
When J Jayalalithaa died as chief minister in 2016, her AIADMK skirted a ban on construction within 500 metres from the waterfront to enable a memorial for her near that of her mentor MG Ramachandran. The acting chief justice, Huluvadi G Ramesh, asked to see the permission granted for Jayalalithaa's burial at Marina. The DMK questioned why the same courtesy cannot be extended for their "Kalaignar".