Former CM family members refuse state funeral

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Shillong, Oct 19 (UNI) The family members of former Meghalaya Chief Minister Evansius Kek Mawlong, who passed away here yesterday, have refused offers for a state funeral at home.

Mawlong, 62, who served as Chief Minister from March 2000 to December 2001, died at Shillong Civil Hospital after a protracted illness.

''My father had lived a simple life that of a common man, and hence, he needs to be treated as a common man during the funeral too,'' Mawlong's scion George Lyngdoh told UNI here.

Earlier, Chief Minister Dr Donkupar Roy visited Mawlong's residence to convince the family members to accept the government announcement for state funeral.

''I have tried to convince the family members but they have told us that they wanted a simple funeral for this great leader,'' Dr Roy said.

However, the State Government had declared tomorrow as state holiday and the national flags will be flown at half-mast in all government buildings.

A teacher-turned-politician, Mawlong joined politics in the early 70s and made his maiden entry to the Assembly in 1978 as an Independent candidate representing the Umroi constituency, which he held for the last time since March 2008.

Mawlong also served as the Speaker of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly from 1983 to 1988 and was later inducted as a Minister in the then B B Lyngdoh Ministry in 1989.

He would be laid to rest at Mawprem Catholic Church Cemetery here.

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