A state funeral for late Milkha Singh, announces Punjab CM
Milkha Singh will be accorded a state funeral by the Punjab government and a day of mourning will be observed to pay respects to late sports legend, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said today. Singh, a celebrated track and field athlete who represented India at three Olympic games, died of post-coronavirus complications last night at the age of 91.
'Punjab will observe mourning for the departed legend'
"Have directed that Late Milkha Singh Ji will be given a State Funeral by our Government. Also Punjab will observe one day of State mourning as a mark of respect to the departed legend (sic)," the Punjab CM tweeted this morning.
Here is the tweet by CM Singh
Have directed that Late Milkha Singh Ji will be given a State Funeral by our Government. Also Punjab will observe one day of State mourning as a mark of respect to the departed legend. pic.twitter.com/V5ewngTO0j— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) June 19, 2021
Funeral this evening in Chandigarh, Sports Minister will attend
Last rites for Singh will be performed at a crematorium in Sector 25, Chandigarh on Saturday evening, according to a report by Hindustan Times. Kiren Rijiju, the Union Sports Minister, will also attend the funeral. "I'm carrying the message of Hon'ble Prime Minister...for the family and will pay my tribute to the pride of India, the legendary #FlyingSikh (sic)," he tweeted today.
Singh died just five days after his wife's passing
Singh had tested positive for the coronavirus last month. He was admitted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh on June 3 and died there last night. His wife, Nirmal Kaur, the former India volleyball captain, had passed away just five days ago due to COVID-19. The couple is survived by their four children, including golfer Jeev Milkha Singh.
Singh's children issued a family statement
"He fought hard but God has his ways and it was perhaps true love and companionship that both our mother Nirmal Ji and now Dad have passed away in a matter of 5 days," Singh's family said in a statement.
PM Modi, others mourn Singh's death
Tributes have been pouring in for Singh since the news surfaced. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "We have lost a colossal sportsperson, who captured the nation's imagination and had a special place in the hearts of countless Indians." "His inspiring personality endeared himself to millions. Anguished by his passing away," the PM wrote in a tweet.
Singh was a four-time gold medalist at the Asian Games
Singh was born on November 20, 1929 in Muzaffargarh city, British India, presently in Pakistan. He joined the Indian Army in 1951, where he was introduced to athletics. Singh, popularly called "Flying Sikh," went to win a gold medal at the 1958 Commonwealth Games and four gold medals at the Asian Games. He had been honored with the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian award.