Last urn of Mahatma's ashes immersed

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Mumbai, Jan 30 (UNI) The metropolis witnessed a solemn ceremony on the Martyr's Day today, as the last known urn containing the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi was immersed in the Arabian Sea at Girgaum Chowpatty by his family members.

Maharashtra Governor S M Krishna, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil were present along with, Tushar Gandhi, Ushaben Gokani and Neelamben Parikh - the members of the Mahatma Gandhi family. The urn containing the ashes was kept at Mani Bhavan in south Mumbai where Gandhiji used to stay during his visit to the city.

The 'Visarjan' (immersion) of ashes took place on February 12, 1948, 13 days after he was assassinated by Nathuram Ghodse, in rivers and seas across the country. ''But in some cases, the 'Asthi Kalash' (the urn containing the Mahatma's ashes) was not immersed and kept by his followers,'' Dhirubhai Mehta, head of the trust that maintains Mani Bhavan, said.

The urn was donated by Bharat Narayan, a resident of Gujarat and grandson of industrialist Jamanalal Bajaj, who wanted Gandhiji's ashes to be preserved properly.

However, with the consent of the family members of Gandhiji, it was decided to immerse the ashes in the sea on the Martyr's Day.

Mani Bhavan had seen heightened activity over the past few days, as several followers of the Mahatma, tourists and school children thronged its premises to have last 'Darshan' of Gandhiji's urn.

UNI MR NM AKJ KP1700

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