Chandigarh: On Saturday, the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had announced a state funeral for the 91-year-old track legend, Milkha Singh. In a tweet, the Chief Minister also said that Punjab will commemorate one day of State mourning as a sign of respect to the expired 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,’ he tweeted.
In a statement issued earlier today, the bereaved family announced the death of the former Indian Sprinter, ‘the Flying Sikh’. ‘It is with extreme sadness that we would like to inform you that Milkha Singh Ji passed away. 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,’ the family said.
Last month, the former Indian sprinter had tested positive for Covid-19 and was in quarantine at his home in Chandigarh before he was admitted to the ICU of Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) hospital in Chandigarh.
According to a statement released by PGIMER, Milkha Singh was admitted to the ICU of COVID Hospital of PGIMER on June 3. ‘He was treated for COVID there till June 13 when after putting up a valiant battle with COVID, Milkha Singh Ji tested negative. However, due to post- Covid complications, he was shifted out of COVID Hospital to medical ICU. But despite the best of efforts by the medical team, Milkha Singh Ji could not be retrieved from his critical condition and after a brave fight, he left for his heavenly abode at 11.30 pm on 18th June 2021 here at PGIMER,’ the hospital authorities said.
The legendary athlete is a four-time Asian Games gold-medallist and 1958 Commonwealth Games champion. He is still the only Indian athlete to have won gold at both the Asian and Commonwealth Games. In recognition of his sporting achievements, he was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honor.