Basu's last journey begins in Kolkata

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Kolkata, Jan 19 (ANI): The final journey of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) patriarch Jyoti Basu has begun in Kolkata.

Thousands of mourners gathered to have a last glimpse of their departed leader, who will be given State honours and a gun salute before his body is given to the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata for medical research.

Basu's body will be first taken from the funeral parlour 'Peace Heaven' to the CPI (M) Headquarters at 31, Alimuddin Street. It will later be taken to the Writers Building the State Secretariat for a few minutes, where Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will place a wreath on the body.

The body will then be taken to the Assembly premises, where it will be kept from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Basu's body will be placed in a gun carriage and army pall bearers will lead the procession to Citizens' Park, where the State police personnel will offer a gun salute to the former Chief Minister before handing over his body to the hospital.

A number of dignitaries are arriving in Kolkata to attend the final journey. They include UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani.

Union Ministers Sharad Pawar and S Jaipal Reddy, former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma, Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and several State Chief Ministers are also expected to pay their homage to Basu.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will also be there with a 40-member delegation to pay her tributes to Basu.

Around 2,000 police personnel have been deployed to monitor the whole ceremony. (ANI)

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