Kalam, 83, collapsed while addressing the students of the Indian Institute of Management in the Meghalaya in Shillong and was rushed to the nearby Bethany hospital where doctors gave him emergency treatment while trying to revive him.
“He was brought into the hospital without a pulse or blood pressure, there was no sign of life,” said John Sailo Ryntathiang, director of Bethany Hospital.
B. Warjri, chief secretary of Meghalaya state, confirmed that Kalam died on Monday evening at a hospital. He was 83.
Kalam served as president of India for five years from 2002, and enjoyed support of both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress at the time. He was known as the father of the country’s military missile programme.
Former Indian president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam won his spurs as the country’s missile man. He played a pivotal role in India’s Pokhran-II nuclear tests in 1998.