Thousands of people poured into the streets between Island grounds and Koyambedu in Chennai on Friday, December 29, to receive the mortal remains of late actor and founder of Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) Captain Vijayakant. The procession, which was set to begin at 1 pm on Friday, was delayed as people continued to arrive at the Island grounds to pay their respects to the late leader. The procession took more than three hours to reach the DMDK’s headquarters in Koyambedu. Vijayakant was laid to rest with state honours around 7pm.
Vijayakant, who was suffering from pulmonary illness, passed away on Thursday, December 28, at MIOT Hospital in Chennai after he tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed on ventilator support. His mortal remains were brought to Island grounds in Anna Salai for public viewing from Saligramam – which took three hours as the public began pouring into the roads to pay homage – on the same day.
At DMDK’s headquarters, only designated members of the family, politicians and other celebrities were allowed to witness the final rites. According to news reports, party cadres and fans attempted to enter the headquarters to watch the last rites and the police charged with batons to control the crowd. Following protests, the party’s cadres set up an LED screen outside the premises for the public to watch the funeral live.
State and national leaders including Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Opposition leader Edappadi K Palanisamy, TN Governor RN Ravi, Governor of Telangana and Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, Tamilisai Soundararajan, TN Ministers Udhayanidhi Stalin, Thangam Thenarasu, Ma Subramanian and Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman were among the politicians who paid homage to the late leader of DMDK. Tamil cinema actors, including Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan and Vijay, also paid their last respects to Captain Vijayakant at the Island grounds.