Massive funeral arrangements are being made in Guwahati, for the final rites of musical legend Bhupen Hazarika, 86. The singer passed away at the Kokilaben Hosopital in Mumbai, on Saturday, at 4.30 a.m. According to sources, the Jet Airways flight that carried Hazarika's coffin arrived at the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati around 11.30 a.m. on Sunday.
"From the airport, the body of the music legend would be first brought to his ancestral home at Nizarapara in Guwahati and then taken to the Judges Field for his fans and well-wishers to pay their tributes and respect," G.P. Singh, the Inspector General of Police in Assam was quoted as saying, by Zee News.
Sources also add that the funeral procession will make halts at the entrance to Gauhati University and two other points - Bharalumukh and Dighalipukhuri. The police plan to keep Hazarika's body at his Nizarapara house for about two hours and then, by sundown, expect to bring it to the Judges Field. The body will be placed inside an air-conditioned cubicle until Tuesday morning.
The funeral will be held at Cachal in Guwahati, on a piece of land housing the Bhupen Hazarika Trust, which was built during his lifetime and under his personal supervision. Elaborate security and traffic arrangements are being made, with officials expecting more than a million people over the next two days.
Meanwhile, emotional scenes were witnessed across the state, with people holding prayer meetings, singing his more popular songs and lighting earthen lamps. The state police have allowed fans and well-wishers to pay public respects till Monday night.
The legendary singer and composer died of multiple organ failure on Saturday at around 4.30pm. He was admitted to hospital on June 29 but his health deteriorated after contracting pneumonia last month.
The multifaceted Hazarika was a singer, journalist, poet, writer, composer, lyricist, music director, scholar and filmmaker. He was a recipient of many awards, like the Padma Bhushan (2001), Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1992), Asom Ratna and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2009).
Check out some photographs of Bhupen Hazarika.