“Kalam was a national treasure 1st and a president later. Kalam’s temperament was special, his life inspires us, it inspires the youth,” the prime minister said.
Among others present at the Indira Gandhi International Airport’s technical wing were vice president Hamid Ansari, Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The first to get a wreath was Delhi police commissioner B.S. Bassi, followed by Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, Admiral R.K. Dhowan and army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag.
A special Indian Air Force plane carrying Kalam’s mortal remains reached here from Shillong at around 12.30 p.m.
A ceremonial guard of honour was accorded to the previous president by the military, navy and air force personnel.
Kalam’s body will be unbroken at ten Rajaji Marg for people to pay respects.