Former President APJ Abdul Kalam has passed away in Shillong.
Kalam (84) collapsed during a speech at the IIM Shillong and was rushed to the nearby Bethany Hospital where doctors put him on oxygen and tried to revive him.
“He was brought into hospital without a pulse or BP. There was no sign of life John Sailo Ryntathiang, director of Bethany Hospital, told the Quint.
Kalam served as president for five years after being elected in 2002 with the support of both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress.
Known as India’s ‘Missile Man’, Kalam worked as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) before he became president. He was intimately involved in the country’s civilian space program and military missile development efforts.
After his term, he returned to civilian life of education, writing, and public service. He received several prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.
This marks the darkest day in Indian History.