New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who died on Thursday at the age of 93, was cremated with full state honours at Smriti Sthal in Delhi at 5 pm.
The body of the BJP veteran had been kept at his official residence — 6 A Krishna Menon Marg. The former PM’s body was brought to BJP headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg where, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, many Union ministers, and Opposition leaders expressed their grief and paid last respects to the legendary leader on Friday.
Here are the live updates:
5.01pm: Former prime minister and Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee cremated with full state honours at Smriti Sthal in Delhi.
5pm: Gun salute accorded to former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee at Smriti Sthal
4.55pm: Vajpayee’s daughter performs last rites
4.50pm: Last rites ceremony of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee underway at Smriti Sthal.
4.44 pm: Last rites ceremony of Atal Bihari Vajpayee underway at Smriti Sthal
4.31 pm: Tricolour wrapped around mortal remains of Atal Bihari vajpayee handed over to his granddaughter Niharika.
4.26 pm: Senior BJP leader LK Advani and BJP President Amit Shah pay last respects
4.24 pm: Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Sri Lanka acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella pay their last respects
4.23 pm: “We are here to share your grief and pay our condolences on the behalf of people of Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan,” said Pakistan Law Minister Ali Zafar after arriving in Delhi for the funeral of former PM
4.22 pm: King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck pays his last respects
4.17 pm: Last salute accorded to former PM
4.16 pm: President Ram Nath Kovind pays his last respects
4.02 pm: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, and Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa pay last respects at Smriti Sthal
3.47 pm: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Sharma, Ashok Gehlot and Raj Babbar, present at Smriti Sthal for the funeral of former PM.
3.37 pm: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Rahul Gandhi arrive at Smriti Sthal for the funeral of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
3.05 pm: Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai arrives in Delhi for the funeral
2.27pm: PM Modi also takes part in the procession
2.08 pm: Mortal remains of Atal Bihari Vajpayee is being taken from the BJP headquarters to Smriti Sthal for his funeral ceremony.
2.03 pm: Mulayam Singh Yadav pays tribute to the former PM at BJP HQs.
1.46 pm: King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck pays tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayeein the presence of PM Modi, EAM Sushma Swaraj and Amit Shah.
1.07 pm: Acting Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Lakshman Kiriella arrives in Delhi, to attend the funeral of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
12.55 pm: “It was the speciality of Atal ji that he never let humanity be harmed due to the political & ideological differences. Such principle is needed in the country today,” said Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) General Secretary.
12.49 pm: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and AAP MP Sanjay Singh pay last respects to the late former Prime Minister.
12.45 pm: “He was an enormously important person who we have great respect for and it’s a great loss for India. I wanted to pay my respects to a man of that stature,” said Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India.
12.42 pm: “We remember him for his contribution to Bangladesh Liberation War and strong support to people of Bangladesh. He had great liking for Bengali music. I had the privilege of serving in Delhi as career diplomat when he became Foreign Minister,” says Bangladesh Foreign Mininster
12.41 pm: Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan pays last respects.
12.40 pm: Veteran Bollywood actress and BJP MP Hema Malini pays respects to Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the BJP Headquarters.
12.32 pm: “I met him once in 2006, he was a very good orator. The void of his absence can never be filled by anyone in Indian politics, he has been a role model for everyone and inspired many through his poetry, speeches and oratorship,” said filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar.
12:22 pm: Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali arrives in Delhi, he will attend the funeral of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
12.15 pm: Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali arrives in Delhi, to attend the funeral
12.08 pm: Veteran BJP leader LK Advani and his daughter Pratibha Advani pay last respects at BJP Headquarters.
11.48 am: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh pay last respects to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at BJP Headquarters.
11.40 am: King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk arrives in Delhi, to attend the funeral of the former PM
11.35 am: “He wanted India to be everybody’s. He also wanted to strike up a friendship with Pakistan. Unfortunately he couldn’t see that. I hope that the current govt & Pakistan’s Imran Khan govt fulfill his dream, that will be a true tribute to him,” Farooq Abdullah, Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
11.32 am: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath and Governor Ram Naik pay last respects to former Prime Minister at the BJP headquarters.
11.22 am: Union Minister Suresh Prabhu and BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav pay last respects to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at BJP Headquarters.
11.20 am: PM Modi pays tribute to former PM Vajpayee
11.15 am: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s body reaches BJP headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg
11.08 am: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk of Bhutan, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Nepal’s Foreign Affairs Minister PK Gyawal, Sri Lanka acting Foreign Minister Lakshman Kiriella, and Pakistan Law Minister Ali Zafar will arrive in Delhi today to pay tributes to Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
11.03 am: Pakistan Foreign Affairs office said that its Information/ Law Minister Barrister Ali Zafar will lead Pakistan delegation to participate in the funeral of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
10.44am: Delhi High court & all District courts to function till 1 pm today. The competent authority has decided that there will be half-day holiday today to allow officials & staff to attend the funeral of former PM #AtalBihariVajpayee at Smriti Sthal.
10.30am: Huge crowd gathers at BJP Headquarters
10.17am: Mortal remains of Vajpayee taken to BJP headquarters
10.01am: Police put restrictions on several roads in Delhi to ensure a smooth movement of the traffic and has advised citizens to take alternate routes to avoid snarls as they expect thousands of mourners to reach central Delhi to pay homage to Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
10am: PM Modi has arrived at the BJP headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg where the mortal remains of the former PM will be placed. The funeral procession would leave the BJP headquarters at 1pm and the last rites would be performed at 4pm, he said. Over 5,000 policemen and paramilitary personnel will form a multi-layer security cordon for a smooth passage of the funeral procession to the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal, the Delhi Police said.
9.45am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today posted a blog on his Twitter account remembering Atal Bihari Vajpayee as a “person with a gifted spirit, heart and mind and the rarest of human beings who touched the heart of every person he met”.
9.30am: Preparations are underway at Atal Bihari Vajpyaee’s residence to take his body to BJP headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg.
9.10am: Dedicated Swayamsevak and a giant politician, tweets RSS
9.08am: The United States joined the world in paying tributes to late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying he was among those who “recognized early that India and the US could develop a partnership” for the benefit of the region and the world. “Standing before the United States Congress in 2000, he famously characterized U.S.-India ties as a ‘natural partnership of shared endeavors’,” US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
9am: Congress president Rahul Gandhi pays tribute to Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
8.46am: DCP Madhur Verma said that adequate security measures have been taken. There is a massive deployment of military, police, paramilitary, SPG and NSG for maintaining multi-layered security in the area.
Verma said that Akbar Road, India Gate, ITO, DDU Marg will be closed from 9 am to 10 am today. Similarly, DDU Marg, ITO, Rashtriya Smriti will be diverted from 2 pm.
8.44am: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval at 6-A Krishna Menon Marg to pay tribute to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
8.40am: Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba pays tribute to Vajpayee.
8.35am: Army Chief Bipin Rawat paid tribute to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his residence in Delhi on Friday.
8.30am: The Indian Railways has announced that the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) exams scheduled for Friday for the post of assistant loco pilots and technicians will go ahead as per schedule across India except for flood-hit Kerala.
8.15am: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat reached the official residence of Atal Bihari Vajpyaee and laid a wreath.
8.10am: Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi at the former PM’s residence.
8.05am: Kerala governor P Sathasivam a nd Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit paid tributes to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at his residence in Delhi.
8am: The Delhi Police has issued a traffic advisory for the national capital. Almost all roads leading to central Delhi including Krishna Memon Marg, Akbar Road, Janpath and India Gate C-Hexagon, among others, will remain closed from 8 a.m. onwards for the general public today in order to ensure smooth vehicular movement during Vajpayee’s final journey.
7.59am: The funeral procession will begin from the BJP headquarters at around 1 pm and end at Rashtriya Smriti Sthal. The last rites are scheduled to begin at 4 pm.
Heavy security arrangements have been made around 6-A Krishna Menon Marg, the former PM’s official residence. These include deployment of police, traffic and paramilitary personnel.
7.45am: Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s body has been kept at his residence, 6A Krishna Menon Marg. At 9 am today, his remains will be taken to BJP headquarters. People can pay their respects to the BJP leader at the party headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg before its taken for cremation later today. Hundreds of people queued up outside the residence of Atal Bihari Vajpayee to pay their last respects to the departed leader. The gates of his official residence was thrown open at 7:30am for public.
7.30am: Traffic movement is set to be restricted across central Delhi for former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s funeral. Lakhs of mourners are expected to reach central Delhi to pay homage to him.
Government offices and educational institutes in several states including Delhi will be closed on Friday as a mark of respect for former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who died in Delhi on Thursday after a long illness.