Chennai, Aug 8: DMK patriarch and former five-time chief minister M Karunanidhi was laid to rest with full state honours in the sands of Marina Beach in Chennai. Kalaignar, as he is popularly called, was buried in a golden casket - the inscription on which read: "the man who worked hard and never rested, is resting in peace here."
The burial space where Karunanidhi's mortal remains were laid to rest is located adjacent to the mausoleum beneath which DMK founder and Dravidian icon C Annadurai was laid to rest.
A statement issued by the DMK said Kalaignar was buried adjacent to Annadurai's grave as the latter was his political mentor. It was the Dravidian legacy of Annadurai which was continued by Karunanidhi during his 50-year reign as the president of DMK.
The burial of Kalaignar at Marina Beach did not come before legal wranglings between the DMK and the Tamil Nadu government headed by rival AIADMK.
After the government refused to grant space for Karunanidhi's burial at the Marina citing environmental grounds, the DMK moved the Madras High Court late night on Tuesday.
After a midnight-hearing, followed by another proceeding scheduled at 8am today, the Madras HC ruled in the DMK's favour. Karunanidhi's son and the party's working president MK Stalin broke down after the court's order, while the party workers stood in celebration.
An array of national and regional leaders, including the heads of states, arrived in Chennai since last evening to pay their final tributes to Kalaignar.
"Deeply saddened by the passing away of Kalaignar Karunanidhi. He was one of the senior most leaders of India. We have lost a deep-rooted mass leader, prolific thinker, accomplished writer and a stalwart whose life was devoted to the welfare of the poor and the marginalised," Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said.
Karunanidhi breathed his last, the Kauvery Hospital said, at 6:10pm on Tuesday. He was admitted at the hospital 11 days ago after his blood pressure fall to alarming levels.
The Tamil Nadu government has announced a week of mourning. Schools and colleges, along with private establishments, remained closed today as a mark of respect.
The DMK had appealed its supporters and party workers, gathered at the Marina, to maintain calm and adhere to law and order.
Despite MK Stalin issuing a similar appeal earlier, a stampede erupted outside the Rajaji Hall where Kalaignar's mortal remains were kept. Two persons were reported dead in the stampede and over 25 were left injured.