Mamata leads candle light vigil for AMRI victims

People cutting across religious and social barriers led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday took out a candlelight march to pay tribute to victims of the city's AMRI hospital fire tragedy which has claimed 93 lives.

Banerjee along with other eminent personalities of the city and hundreds of men, women marched silently holding tuberose stalks and candles, along the Jawaharlal Nehru Road. The march started from Birla Planetarium and ended at the Gandhi statue in Maidan area.

Banerjee along with painter Suvaprasana, Jogen Choudhury, poet Joy Goswami and Muslim clerics formed the second column of the mammoth rally. The first column was led by actress and Trinamool Congress MLA Debasree Roy along with Bengali film director Raj Chakroborty.

A candle in one hand and tuberose in the other, Banerjee walked silently as the cameramen and photographers jostled to click a snap.

Several state government ministers and Trinamool leaders also took part in the rally where many people were seen carrying posters which wished peace for the departed souls.

Traffic came to a stand still on the other side of the busy thoroughfare as people alighted from public buses and stood on both sides of the road bowing their heads as a gesture of respect to the victims of the Dec 9 fire holocaust.

The procession ended at the base of the Gandhi statue where a podium with names of the dead was erected.

Mamata lighted a big candle kept on the stage. Flowers and wreaths were used to pay respect at a temporary memorial built for the day.

An all faith prayer meeting saw a Hindu priest, Muslim cleric, Buddhist monk, Christian priest and Sikh religious leader reciting from their respective holy books.

The ceremony ended with all the people present reciting songs "Aguner Parashmoni Choyawoo Prane" and "Ragupati Raghava Raja Ram".

"I conclude the ceremony by thanking everybody for coming here. I pray to god and Allah that all those who died rest in peace," said Banerjee.

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