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Indian dailies highlight public grief over Mandela's death

New Delhi/Mumbai/Kolkata, Dec.7 : Indian dailies on Saturday highlighted the sense of public grief over the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela.


Mandela, who emerged from 27 years of imprisonment to help guide South Africa to democracy, died on Thursday from a lung related illness.

Indian newspapers ran banner headlines mourning the death of South African anti-apartheid hero as people held special prayers and candle light vigils in his memory.

"It is a big loss to the world because he was Nobel prize winner and follower of non-violence and Gandhiji's principles (Mahatma Gandhi, leader of independence struggle), so I think it is a big loss to the world," said Mumbai resident Arun Kumar.

President Jacob Zuma said Mandela would be buried on December 15 at his ancestral home of Qunu in Eastern Cape Province.

Zuma also announced Mandela would be honoured at a December 10 memorial service at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium, the site of the 2010 World Cup final.

Qunu is 700 kilomters south of Johannesburg, in a plot where three of his children and other close family members are buried.

Despite reassurances from public figures that Mandela's death at 95, while sorrowful, would not halt South Africa's advance from its apartheid past, there were those who expressed unease about the absence of a man famed as a peacemaker.

Flags flew at half mast across the country, and trade was halted for five minutes on the Johannesburg stock exchange.

The National Flag of South Africa at the embassy in New Delhi has been at half-mast since Friday.

The Indian government has declared five days of official mourning.

Meanwhile, Kolkata resident Madhu said the world is very sad over Mandela's demise, and described him as an inspirational figure for many in India and the world.

--ANI (Posted on 07-12-2013)

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