Well wishers and mourners started to gather at the Old Rumtek Gonpa from the wee hours of the morning today carrying khadas and incense sticks to pay their last respect to the first Chief Minister of Sikkim.
The casket with mortal remains of late Kazi Sahib was earlier kept inside the monastery, where the Lamas recited the Buddhist scriptures performing the final rituals.
Later, the casket was taken out of the monastery for the people to offer khadas to late LD Kazi. The Sikkim Armed Police then honoured the late CM with a 21 gun salute.
The casket covered in the national flag then headed for the crematorium located at a distance of about 10 minutes from the Old Monastery. As per the custom, a beautifully decorated horse led the funeral procession followed by the monks.
Cutting across party lines, a large number of leaders from both the ruling as well as Opposition parties were present at the funeral today. At the crematorium, the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, Speaker, DN Thakarpa, Director General of Police C Ravindran, Major General (GOC) 17th Mountain Division KVS Lalhotra offered flowers tributes to the casket.
Cabinet Ministers including DD Bhutia, Somnath Poudyal, Menlom Lepcha, Kalawati Subba, DT Lepcha, GM Gurung and MLAs also offered their tributes to the late CM. Also present today were Sangha MLA Acharya Tshering Lama, Sikkim Progressive Party President Sher Hang Subba, State Bharatiya Janata Party President HR Pradhan, officials, businessmen, members of late Kazi’s family and people from all over the State.
The national flag was then unwrapped from the casket by the Police personnel at the crematorium.
Moments after the pyre was lit, a circular rainbow appeared in the skies. “Kazi Sahib was really a great figure and the circular rainbow in the sky is a testimony of that”, said Karma Samten of Rumtek.
“Although Kazi passed away but the fire of democracy that he lit in this State will always keep burning bright,” said Ram Chandra Poudyal, a merger veteran and once a close associate of late LD Kazi.