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Meet Baba: The man arranging Tarun Gogoi’s farewell

On Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi too reached Guwahati in the morning hours to pay his final tribute to the deceased chief minister

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Sailen Baishya (Time8)

GUWAHATI: Sailen Baishya also known as Baba from the city’s Nabagraha area was very busy since Wednesday morning as he has to arrange all the ingredients and items needed for the cremation rituals of former Tarun Gogoi who died of multi-organ failure on Monday evening.

Though it was not the first time that Baishya was doing such arrangements, he was doing it with a heavy heart.

Baishya who runs a shop of all the items needed for performing a Hindu cremation ceremony nearby the Nabagraha cremation ground was asked to make all the necessary arrangements for the rituals. “I am being asked to arrange all the necessary items like sandalwood for the pyre, ghee, incense, oil, holy clothes, etc to be used in the cremation of Gogoi. Though it feels like an honour, it’s a sad event.

Gogoi’s will be cremated at the city’s Nabagraha cremation ground on Thursday. State government has been preparing the arrangements for the cremation of Gogoi at the ground. State’s health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also inspected the preparation on Wednesday.

Rahul Gandhi at Kalakhetra

Not only Gogoi, but Baishya had also arranged the same for the cremations of several other dignitaries of Assam like Jnanpith Awardee Mamoni Raisom Goswami, poet Hiren Bhattacharyya and many others.

“I have done the same thing for many of them. Every time such a great personality dies, it pains the people of Assam. Tarun Gogoi was also a very popular chief minister. With his naive smiling face, he has done remarkable things for the state. He will live forever in our hearts,” Baishya stated with a gloomy heart.

On Wednesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too reached Guwahati in the morning hours to pay his final tribute to the deceased chief minister who was close to the Gandhi family. Till Thursday morning, Gogoi’s mortal remains will be kept at Srimanta Shankardeva Kalakhetra for public homage.

AASU leaders at Kahalkhetra (Time8)

People from all sectors thronged Kalakhetra since Wednesday morning to pay floral tribute to the deceased leader. All Assam Student Union (AASU)’s Samujjal Bhattacharya, Dipanko Nath and former AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi also reached Kalakhetra to pay their respect.

Bhattacharya said, “Assam lost a highly experienced politician. He was a chief minister who strongly believed in democracy and believed in dialogues. He always considered our rights to protest democratically.  He even went to check Assam-Bangladesh porous border areas with an AASU delegation once on our demand. He was such a democratic person and every leader must realise it too.”

Gogoi was the longest serving chief minister of Assam and a Congress stalwart.