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Girija Devi cremated with full state honours in Varanasi

‘Thumri Queen’ Girija Devi was on Thursday cremated with full state honours at the Manikarnika Ghat in her birthplace Varanasi.

The mortal remains of the Padma Bhushan awardee, who died in a Kolkata hospital on Tuesday at the age of 88, were brought here earlier in the day.

The body was then taken to her Sanjaynagar residence, where hundreds of her admirers, other classical singers and her disciples turned up to pay their last respects to the maestro.

Her disciples Reeta Dev and Padma Shri Malini Awasthi sang her favourite ‘thumri’ — “Babul Mora Naihar Chhoota Hi Jai…” when the body was being taken from her house for cremation.

A contingent of the Uttar Pradesh police gave a guard of honour to the deceased Hindustani classical vocalist before the pyre was lit.

Sankat Mochan Temple priest Vishambhar Nath Mishra, state Minister Neelkanth Tiwari, legislator Avdhesh Singh, Congress leader Ajay Rai and senior bureaucrats were present at the cremation.

Besides Padma Shri (1972) and Padma Bhushan (1989), the veteran vocalist was honoured with the Tansen Samman by the Madhya Pradesh government, as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1977).

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