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Crowds pour in for Gogoi, Ulfa faction pays respect


GUWAHATI: Tributes poured in for former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, with even the pro-talks faction of  insurgent group United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)  condoling his demise. After the hospital authorities handed the body over to the Gogoi family on Tuesday morning, it was taken to his residence and then to the state Congress head office where party leaders and workers paid their last respect. People lined up on GS Road as the vehicle carrying the mortal remains headed to the departed leader’s residence.

Eventually, the body was taken to Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra where people will pay their homage on Wednesday. The last rites will be performed on Thursday. The Congress had requested the Assam government for a separate plot for the last rites. The government apparently cited unavailability of land. It favours cremation on the city outskirts where land is available.

ULFA (pro-talks) representatives and some BJP leaders, who had revolted against Gogoi when they were in the Congress, were among those who mourned the death. ULFA (pro-talks) chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa said the faction had joined the peace talks responding to Gogoi’s call. “He understood the problem and assured us to address it through negotiations. We had made a lot of progress in the talks during his tenure,” Rajkhowa said.