New Delhi: The mortal remains of noted journalist and author Kuldip Nayar, who died on Thursday were consigned to flames, as grieving friends, families, admirers and a host of public figures bid farewell to a man often described as an “institution in himself".

Nayar died aged 95 at a private hospital around 12:30 am and his funeral at the Lodhi Crematorium was attended by former vice-president Hamid Ansari, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, photographer Raghu Rai, artist Jatin Das, and several journalists and former colleagues.

Manmohan Singh condoled Nayar’s demise, saying the former diplomat donned many hats in his decades of public life

Raghu Rai, who worked with him during the 60s and 70s at the The Statesman, described his departure as an “end of an era". “He was the last of those editors, who stood for truth, honesty and commitment in their profession. And till the last days, he stood for integrity and commitment for his country that he loved so deeply," the photographer said.

Nayar, born in Sialkot in Pakistan in 1923, began his career in journalism with the Urdu press and went on to serve as editor of several newspapers, including Indian Express and The Statesman. He was arrested during the Emergency. He fought fiercely for press freedom and civil liberties and to improve ties between India and Pakistan, Rai said.

Union Sports Minister Rathore said Nayar was not just an eminent journalist, “he was an institution in himself", in every aspect. Kejriwal, who attended the funeral along with Sisodia, described Nayar’s death as a “great loss to the nation".