Milkha Singh Death News Highlights: One of independent India’s biggest sporting icons, ace sprinter Milkha Singh, died on Friday after a month-long battle with COVID-19, during which he lost his former national volleyball captain wife Nirmal Kaur to the same ailment. He was cremated with full state honours in Chandigarh. The Padma Shri awardee, who was nicknamed ‘The Flying Sikh’ for his accomplishments, was 91 and is survived by his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters.
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“It is with extreme sadness that we would like to inform you that Milkha Singh Ji passed away at 11.30 pm. on the 18th of June 2021,” read a statement from the family. “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,” it added.
Kiren Rijiju said that India's highest ever Olympic contingent will try their best to fulfill Milkha Singh's dream of winning a medal in Athletics.
Punjab CM Visits Milkha Singh' house
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh visits Milkha Singh' house.
Visited Milkha Singh Ji’s house to pay my respects and condole with the family. People across India are mourning his demise. Punjab is observing State mourning as a mark of respect to the Flying Sikh. pic.twitter.com/fuFU53Zz5x— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) June 19, 2021
The Milkha-Nirmal Love Story: When the Flying Sikh Told an Angry Punjab CM He Wanted to Marry Nimmi
Sports University, Patiala to Have a Chair After Milkha Singh's Name
A chair will be established after Milkha Singh's name at the Sports University, Patiala, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced on Saturday. The legendary track and field athlete Milkha Singh died of COVID-19 related complications on Friday night.
"We are going to have a Milkha Singh Chair in Sports University, Patiala, the Chief Minister told reporters outside Milkha's Sector 8 residence. Singh, accompanied by state Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, had gone to meet Milkha's son Jeev and other family members to offer his condolences.
Indian javelin star Annu Rani too was taken aback for the news.
"Mikhla Singh was admitted in the hospital, we athletes knew, but didn't know he would leave us so soon. I am really sad after hearing the news of his passing. India will forever be indebted to him for his contribution to Indian athletics and for putting India's name on world map and will continue to spire and motivate us in the future too," she told News18.com.
Security beefed up at Sector 25 crematorium ahead of cremation of Legend Indian Sprinter Milkha Singh at 5pm today. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said that “Former Indian sprinter Milkha Singh will be given State funeral by Punjab Government. Also, Punjab will observe one day of State mourning as a mark of respect"
Gurbachan Singh Randhawa recalled how Milkha Singh was simply 'distraught' after he missed the podium by 0.1 seconds at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
The Indian cricket team which is playing the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton is wearing black armbands in remembrance of Milkha Singh. You can follow the live coverage of the WTC Final HERE
Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh Visits Milkha Singh's Residence in Chandigarh
Punjab Chief Minister Amrinder Singh, on Saturday, visited Indian athletics legend Milkha Singh' residence in Chandigarh. According to government officials, his cremation will be held in his hometown Chandigarh at 5 p.m. on Saturday with state honours and a day of mourning in Punjab has also been announced.
M. Sreeshankar recalled he was inspired by the 'Flying Sikh' and said that Milkha Singh's death has shaken the Indian athletics community.
India has Lost a Star of the Sports Fraternity, Says Babita
"I am sad to hear the demise of Milkha Singh ji. Today India has lost a star of the sports fraternity. I am unable to believe that he has left us. May his soul rest in peace. And I urge every sportsperson to observe two minutes' silence to pay tribute to him," Babita told ANI.
Hima Das Mourns the Death of Milkha Singh
"I remember sir (Milkha) spoke to me during the World Championship in Finland and I am now missing whatever he told me. He always used to say that hard work is the key to success and during the World championship he told me that 'Hima be serious from now, you have to give good timing in Asian Games' being in discipline and listening to coach is important he used to tell me," Hima told ANI.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has announced that former Indian sprinter Milkha Singh will be given State funeral by Punjab Government. Also, Punjab will observe one day of State mourning as a mark of respect.
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
President Ram Nath Kovind condoled the demise of Milkha Singh as Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also paid their tribute to their sporting legend.
Former Indian cricket team captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly too mourned the death of The Flying Sikh, Ganuly wrote, " Extremely saddened by this news ..RIP ,India's one of the greatest sportsman..you have made young Indians dream of becoming an athlete..had the privilege of knowing you so closely."
Extremely saddened by this news ..RIP ,India's one of the greatest sportsman..you have made young Indians dream of becoming an athlete..had the privilege of knowing you so closely .. pic.twitter.com/mbEk9WPDBd— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) June 19, 2021
Milkha Singh was also known as ‘Flying Sikh’ but how did he get that name? Read the FULL STORY HERE to know.
Dark clouds of sadness prevail with the demise of my idol and inspiration Milkha Singhji. His story of sheer determination and hard work inspired millions and will continue to do so. As a tribute to him, students of Usha School paid homage to the legend. Rest in Peace," wrote P.T. Usha.
Dark clouds of sadness prevail with the demise of my idol and inspiration Milkha Singhji. His story of sheer determination and hard work inspired millions and will continue to do so. As a tribute to him, students of Usha School paid homage to the legend.— P.T. USHA (@PTUshaOfficial) June 19, 2021
Rest in Peace 🙏 pic.twitter.com/mLBQQ2ge3v
Indian sprint legend Milkha Singh died on Friday after a month-long battle with COVID-19, during which he lost his former national volleyball captain wife Nirmal Kaur to the same ailment.
Taking to social media, Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar paid a rich tribute to Milkha Singh, he said MIlkha Singh will continue to keep inspiring several generations to come.
Rest in Peace our very own ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh ji.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) June 19, 2021
Your demise has left a deep void in every Indian’s heart today, but you shall keep inspiring several generations to come. pic.twitter.com/ImljefeUEN
Saddened to learn about the demise of legendary athlete, the 'Flying Sikh', Milkha Singh. He created multiple records with his speed and spirit and won laurels for our country. His name will be inscribed in gold in sports history. My heartfelt condolences to his grieving family.— Sharad Pawar (@PawarSpeaks) June 19, 2021
"Pained to know about the demise of legendary athlete, Padma Shri Milkha Singh ji. The personality of the Flying Sikh will keep inspiring generations to come. He has left an indelible mark on world athletics. My deepest condolences to his family and followers," BJP President JP Nadda tweeted.
Pained to know about the demise of legendary athlete, Padma Shri Milkha Singh ji. The personality of the Flying Sikh will keep inspiring generations to come. He has left an indelible mark on world athletics. My deepest condolences to his family and followers.— Jagat Prakash Nadda (@JPNadda) June 19, 2021
Several other politicians including Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, BJP President JP Nadda, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar too paid their homage.
Saddened to know of the demise of Shri Milkha Singh. A master of the track and field, he displayed his mastery in the Asian and Commonwealth Games. We recognised him as the #FlyingSikh— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) June 19, 2021
A sports icon is lost.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju also condoled the death of Milkha Singh, saying the legendary sprinter will continue to inspire every Indian for years to come. Rijiju said in Milkha's demise, the country has lost a star. "India has lost its star. Milkha Singh Ji has left us but he will continue to inspire every Indian to shine for India. My deepest condolences to the family. "I pray for his soul to rest in peace," the minister tweeted.
Shah Rukh Khan too took to Twitter to pay his repect to the Indian athletics legend. "he Flying Sikh may no longer be with us in person but his presence will always be felt and his legacy will remain unmatched," he tweeted.
The Flying Sikh may no longer be with us in person but his presence will always be felt and his legacy will remain unmatched... An inspiration to me... an inspiration to millions. Rest in Peace Milkha Singh sir.— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) June 18, 2021
His condition turned critical this evening as he developed complications, including fever and dipping oxygen saturation levels, after a bout with COVID-19, in the Intensive Care Unit of the PGIMER hospital here. “We are deeply indebted to the doctors at PGI for their valiant efforts and the love and prayers we received from across the world and from yourselves,” the family stated.
The PGIMER also issued a statement and expressed its condolences. “…despite best of the efforts by a 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,” the hospital stated.
PGIMER Director Prof Jagat Ram said Milkha “will be remembered for his exceptional accomplishments on and off the field and his endearing and humane personality.” Milkha had contracted COVID-19 last month and tested negative for the virus on Wednesday when he was shifted to general ICU in another block of the hospital. He had been “stable” before Thursday evening.
Milkha’s 85-year-old wife Nirmal, who had also been infected by the virus, passed away at a private hospital in Mohali on Sunday. The couple were suspected to have contracted the infection from a house help. Milkha was admitted to PGIMER on June 3 after his oxygen levels dipped at home following treatment at the Fortis hospital in Mohali for a week.
Chandigarh on Saturday bid a tearful farewell to ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh (91), who passed away at the PGI Hospital here after a prolonged battle with Covid-19 late on Friday night.
Milkha Singh was cremated with full state honours at the Sector 25 cremation ground here with a police contingent according gun salute by reversing arms and sounding the last post to the legendary athlete, who held the 400m national record for 38 years, while his Asian record in the same event remained unmatched for 26 years.
His son and internationally acclaimed golfer Jeev Milkha Singh lit the funeral pyre.
Milkha Singh breathed his last late on Friday night after a long battle with Covid-related complications, just five days after his Nirmal Kaur lost her battle against the dreaded virus.
Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh earlier visited his residence in Sector 8 here to offer their condolence.
The Chief Minister handed over a photo of the late athlete with Jawaharlal Nehru to Jeev Milkha Singh.
The Punjab government had earlier declared one-day state mourning and a public holiday as a mark of respect to the legendary athlete.
Earlier in the day, Amarinder Singh had announced that the Punjab government would accord a state funeral to Milkha Singh.
The Chief Minister also announced a Milkha Singh Chair at the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Punjab Sports University in Patiala in memory of the legendary athlete.
Milkha Singh’s death is a mammoth loss to the entire nation and a sad moment for all, he said.
Recalling the declaration of a national holiday by then Prime Minister late Jawaharlal Nehru after Milkha Singh defeated champion Pakistan sprinter Abdul Khaliq in Lahore in 1960, the Chief Minister said he wished he could have also declared a national holiday today.
But Punjab would mourn the legend with a state holiday, with flags flying at half mast, he added.
The legendary athlete is a four-time Asian Games gold medallist and the 1958 Commonwealth Games champion but his greatest performance remains the fourth-place finish in the 400m final of the 1960 Rome Olympics. His timing of 45.6 sec at the Italian capital remained the national record for 38 years before Paramjeet Singh broke it in 1998.
He also represented India in the 1956 and 1964 Olympics and was bestowed the Padma Shri in 1959. After testing positive for COVID-19 on May 19, Milkha had remained in home isolation at his Chandigarh residence till May 23 and was admitted to Fortis hospital in Mohali on May 24 as he kept running fever, had body aches and experienced loss of appetite.
His golfer son Jeev, who was in Dubai at that time, had reached here on May 22 while another daughter Mona Milkha Singh, a doctor in the United States, also arrived here later. Fortis hospital had earlier diagnosed the couple with “COVID pneumonia”.
While in Fortis, the couple also shared the same room for a few days. After being admitted to PGIMER earlier this month, Milkha had received a phone call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, enquiring about his health.
Modi, while condoling Milkha’s demise, remembered that conversation on Friday and said that “little did I know that it would be our last conversation.” “In the passing away of Shri Milkha Singh Ji, 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 Prime Minister tweeted.