India’s 11th President APJ Abdul Kalam died on Monday evening at a hospital in Meghalaya, where he had gone to deliver a lecture. He was 83. His body was today flown by an Air Force helicopter to Guwahati in Assam from where it will be taken to Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be present at the Delhi airport to receive his body.
The former President, who was in office from 2002 to 2007, had collapsed during the lecture at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, around 6.30 pm. He was taken to the Bethany hospital. Doctors said he had suffered a massive cardiac arrest. “President Kalam was brought to the hospital at 7 pm. When he brought in there was no sign of life. He was taken to ICU to try and revive him, which was futile,” hospital sources told NDTV.
The government has declared a seven-day national mourning as a mark of respect for the former President. Paying a special tribute to Dr Kalam on Monday evening, PM Modi had said, “My mind is filled with so many memories, so many interactions with him. Always marvelled at his intellect, learnt so much from him.”