Thousands pay respects to former Andhra CM Reddy

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Hyderabad, Sep.3 (ANI): Tens of thousands of people, from all walks of life, came out on the streets of Hyderabad on Thursday evening to mourn and pay their last respects to former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajsekhara Reddy, who died in a helicopter crash on Wednesday morning.

Shouting slogans in support of Reddy such as YSR Zindabad and Long Live YSR, the general public and Congress party supporters lined the roads of Hyderabad as the flower-decked army truck and a convoy of cars drove from the airport to his official residence - The Camp Office at Begumpet.

Many of the supporters carried placards, flags and masks of YSR, signifying the high level of grief and shock over the unexpected tragedy.

Traffic was brought to a virtual standstill in the city as mourners and supporters desperately sought to pay their last respects to the departed leader.

Political leaders, cutting across party lines, are making a beeline for the chief minister's residence to pay their last respects to Reddy and condole with his family members.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, are expected in the city tomorrow morning to pay their last respects to the departed leader.

Earlier, the highly charred and decomposed bodies of Reddy and four others were shifted to an Indian Air Force helicopter in Kurnool and airlifted to Hyderabad.

A post mortem of the bodies is to take place in Hyderabad this evening.

The dead chief minister's body will lie in state at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium from Friday morning till about 1 p.m. to allow the general public and the political leadership to pay their last respects. It will then be flown to his native village in Cuddapah District for final rites. (ANI)

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