Chennai: At least a million people came to see DMK patriarch and former chief minister M Karunanidhi on the day of his funeral Wednesday. The crowds thronged all day at the Rajaji Hall to where his mortal remains were brought after having lain in his homes in Gopalapuram and CIT Colony during Tuesday night soon after he passed away in Kauvery Hospital.

Grieving DMK cadres were spread out all along the route of the cortege from the Rajaji Hall to the Marina Beach memorial space. The milling crowd became so huge by evening that the procession took a couple of hours to cover the short 2-km journey to his last resting place.

At least four persons were killed and more than 30 persons, including a woman constable, were injured in a sudden stampede at Rajaji Hall earlier in the day when thousands rushed and pushed to pay homage. The stampede happened at around 11.15 am when the police let the people enter the Rajaji Hall premises in batches and several persons breached the barricades in their hurry.

A few persons fell down and were trampled upon in the crush. Soon after the incident, DMK working president appealed to his party cadres and the public to keep calm and pay homage to the leader in an orderly manner and disperse peacefully. n P4

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