Manipur on Thursday paid homage to former Chief Minister and Congress veteran leader Rishang Keishing at his funeral held at his Mantripukhri private residence here.
Rishang Keishing breathed his last on August 22 at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal. He was 96. He is survived by his wife Khatingla Keishing, three sons and one daughter.
He was given a proper burial by the state at his residence. Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh led his council of ministers, opposition MLAs, includidng Okram Ibobi Singh, at the funeral event.
A contigent of 1st Manipur Rifles gave gun salute to the late grand old man of Manipur on the occasion which was attended by several top police officials. A two-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to Rishang Keishing.
CM Biren stated, “Rishang was a leader who worked for Manipur irrespective of community.”
The funeral was earlier arranged at his native village Bungpa Khullen of Ukhrul district but it was reportedly barred from being held by a militant group. But Biren Singh said no such incident was officially confirmed.
Keishing represented UKhrul district's Phungyar, an assembly segment, for seven terms till 2002. He became Chief Minister of Manipur four times and had served as an MP for 22 years. The oldest Parliamentarian of the country retired from public life in 2014.
The Manipur government declared a one-day state holiday and three days mourning period after Rishang Keishing’s death.
A state funeral for the former leader was held at MBC Centre Church, Chingmeirong. Former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and several party leaders joined mourners at the memorial service which was attended by his family and friends.
The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) also paid homage to late Rishang Keishing at the Congress Bhawan.
Former Chief Minister and opposition Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh, former Deputy CM Gaikhangam, MPCC President TN Haokip, MP Th Meinya Singh and several party leaders and workers laid wreaths to the lifeless body of Rishang Keishing on the occasion.
The Congress leaders mourned his death and the party flag was flown at half-mast in honour of him.
On the occasion, Okram Ibobi Singh said, “Rishang Keishing was the tallest leader given by God.”
Rishang’s lifeless body was also brought to Adimjati Ashram where staff and stidents mourned his death and paid last respect to him.
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