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State funeral for Ishmeet

india Updated: Aug 01, 2008 00:54 IST
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A sea of humanity braved heavy rains for the last glimpse of 19-year-old Ishmeet Singh who drowned in a Male hotel swimming pool. Before the last rites were performed, Ishmeet was given the guard of honour by the state government.

Fans from far-flung districts such as Gurdaspur and Muktsar and parts of Haryana and Rajasthan converged to attend the last rites of the Voice of India winner. Bollywood's music industry was represented by Abhijit, Mikka, and Punjabi singers Inderjit Nikku and Hans Raj Hans. Amit Sana and Hemani, the Indian Idol finalists, came from Mumbai to attend the cremation. “It is difficult to imagine that such an incident could snuff a promising life so early,” said Hemani.

Producer of Voice of India Gajinder Singh, besides Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak president Avtar Singh Makkar, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, Local MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillion, CM's media advisor Harcharan Singh Bains attended the cremation.

Police had a tough time controlling the crowd that had gathered outside Ishmeet's house. A large number of school children scaled the walls to enter his house. During the day, women waited restlessly near the house for the body, which had been taken to the civil hospital for post-mortem examination.

The distance between Ishmeet’s house, in Shastri Nagar, and the cremation ground is just a few metres. But the procession took as long as an hour to reach the ground.

Emotions ran high when Ishmeet’s father Gurpinder Singh lit the pyre at 4.30 pm leaving the entire gathering in tears.

Meanwhile, the post-mortem examination confirmed that Ishmeet's death was “a case of drowning”. The autopsy report concluded that Ishmeet died of asphyxia due to drowning and the minor abrasion found on his head could have been caused when he hit the floor of swimming pool.

The autopsy was conducted following a request from the bereaved family, which suspected “foul play” behind the death.