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10000 attend Goala funeral

Hailakandi, April 17: Former minister and Lakhipur MLA Dinesh Prasad Goala was cremated at his birthplace Dugrubusttee, a village in Lakhipur subdivision of Cachar district today.

His last rites were performed by his son, Rajdeep, after a guard of honour by the state.

Dugrubusttee is 25km from Silchar.

All the tea gardens of Barak valley were today shut as a mark of respect to the departed leader.

Earlier, Goala’s body was flown from New Delhi to Silchar’s Kumbhirgram airport by an Indian Airlines chartered flight. The funeral procession comprised about 300 vehicles with his body carried in a garlanded mini truck to his home at Pailapool via Bhandur and Dewan tea estates.

Residents of villages and towns under Lakhipur constituency and members of the Lakhipur District Sports Association, of which Goala was the president, paid tribute.

The body was thereafter taken to the Intuc office in Silchar where he served as general secretary of the Cachar Cha Shrmik Union for 16 years. The leaders of tea unions paid floral tribute there. Later, the body was taken to Congress Bhawan where over 10,000 people had gathered. The procession thereafter proceeded to Silchar municipality.

Members of the District Sports Association, Assam Football Association, Assam Cricket Association, Town Club, India Club among others also paid tribute to Goala.

Later, his body was also taken to Pailapool Nehru College where he started his career as a lecturer of political science.

All the MLAs of Cachar, including Susmita Dev of Silchar, former Union minister Santosh Mohan Dev, Rumi Nath of Barkhola, Ataur Rahman Majharbhuiya of Katigorah, Dhalai MLA Girindra Mallick, Sonai MLA Anamul Haque and ministers Ajit Singh, Gautam Roy apart from Congress leaders and tea unions attended the funeral procession and paid tributes.

The seven-time MLA and two-time minister Goala died at a hospital in Gurgaon yesterday morning.