NELLORE:Thousands of people bade a tearful farewell to the mortal remains of noted mountaineer Malli Mastan Babu, who had died while climbing the Andes Mountain in Chile on March 25, during his funeral at his native village of Gandhi Jana Sangam in Sangam mandal in this district on Saturday. His last rites were performed with official honours.
Thousands of people, including several from Prakasam, Kadapa and Guntur districts, and Mastan Babu’s associates and teachers from the Korukonda Sainik School in Visakhapatnam, thronged the village to have a last glimpse of the departed mountaineer.
Union Urban Development minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Nellore MP M Rajamohan Reddy, state ministers P Narayana, Kamineni Srinivas, Palle Raghunadha Reddy and Ravela Kishore Babu, MLAs Mekapati Goutam Reddy and Polam Reddy Srinivasulu Reddy, collector M Janaki, SP Gajarao Bhupal, representatives of all political parties and people’s organisations participated in the funeral.
Mastan Babu’s brother Peda Mastanaiah performed the last rites in a traditional manner. As per their caste traditions, his body was cremated around 12 noon. Though the last rites were scheduled to be performed around 9.45 am, the were delayed by 3 hours.
Earlier, the body of Mastan Babu was covered with the National Tricolour by minister sP Narayana and Palle Raghunadha Reddy, who attended the funeral on behalf of the state government. “I came to know about his greatness when he was felicitated by the Swarna Bharath Trust (SBT) in 2006, and again when he set the world record in mountaineering. It is unfortunate that we have lost such a great mountaineer,” said Venkaiah Naidu.