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Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005

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Arulappa laid to rest

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, FEB. 14. The former Archbishop of Hyderabad, Samineni Arulappa, who passed away on Monday, was laid to rest in front of Our Lady's Altar in St. Mary's Church here on Tuesday.

The Archbishop's final resting place was selected as per his wishes, which he had expressed in his will, written and signed by him on April 19, 2000. The Archbishop of Hyderabad, Marampudi Joji, who led a host of bishops and priests from all over the State, read out Arulappa's will to thousands of devotees, members of the clergy and other well-wishers of the Archbishop, who had gathered at the church for the funeral.

Seeks pardon in will

Arulappa, who was shifted to hospital after complaining of severe breathlessness on February 8, also requested in the will "pardon from all those" he had "offended" in his lifetime, adding that he held nothing against those who had knowingly or unknowingly spoken or worked against him. Rt. Rev. Joji, who had administered the last sacrament to Arulappa on January 28 this year after the latter suffered a massive stroke, said his last words were "Please pray for me and forgive me."

The funeral service, which began at 3.30 pm, went on for more than an hour, before which thousands of people made a beeline to the church to pay their homage to Arulappa, who had spent his last three years at the Bishop's House in Secunderabad.

Among those who thronged the premises were clergymen, nuns, students and staff of Catholic schools in the twin cities that remained closed today, apart from the general public. Several dignitaries, including the Director General of Police, Swaranjit Sen, paid tribute to Arulappa. The Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who was to attend the funeral service, could not make it as the budget session of the Legislative Assembly was in progress.

Speaker's tribute

The Speaker, K.R.Suresh Reddy, expressed grief over the passing away of Arulappa. In a message, Mr. Reddy described him as a "man of great image who dwelt on the hearts of multitude of people on the dint of his unforgettable social service."

His untimely death has created a vacuum that can never be filled, the message said.

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