Milkha Singh will get state funeral, announces Punjab Chief Minister

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Milkha Singh will be given a state funeral by the Punjab government and as a mark of respect to the track legend a day’s mourning will also be observed, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said on Saturday.

“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,” Amarinder Singh tweeted.

Milkha  Singh died aged 91 following a long battle with Covid-19, a four-time Asian games gold medalist and dubbed the “Flying Sikh”, passed away at a hospital in Chandigarh late on Friday. Nirmal Kaur, former India volleyball captain, and his wife also died from Covid-19 earlier in the week.

The track-and-field athlete became the first Indian man to reach the final of an Olympic athletics event when he was placed fourth in the 400m race at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the tributes for Milkha Singh, saying Indians had “lost a colossal sportsperson, who captured the nation’s imagination and had a special place in the hearts of countless Indians.”

Milkha Singh’s family informed about the legend’s death in a statement. “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. They are survived by their son, former Asian Tour number one golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, and three daughters.

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