Milkha Singh, one of independent India’s biggest sporting icons, who died of COVID-19 complications, will be cremated in Chandigarh on Saturday evening with full state honours.
The Punjab government will also observe a day of state mourning in the wake of the passing away of the track and field legend.
“Have directed that late Milkha Singh Ji will be given a state funeral by our government,” Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh tweeted.
“Also, Punjab will observe one day of state mourning as a mark of respect to the departed legend,” the Chief Minister said.
Amarinder Singh tweeted earlier,” Upset and saddened to hear of Milkha Singh Ji’s demise. It marks the end of an era and India & Punjab are poorer today.”
“My condolences to the bereaved family & millions of fans. The legend of the Flying Sikh will reverberate for generations to come. Rest in peace Sir!,” read his tweet.
The cremation will take place at 5 pm, a spokesperson for the family, said earlier.
The 91-year-old Milkha Singh died on Friday night after a month-long battle with COVID-19. He had lost his former national volleyball captain wife Nirmal Kaur to the same ailment.
The Padma Shri awardee, who was nicknamed ”The Flying Sikh” for his accomplishments, is survived by his golfer son Jeev Milkha Singh and three daughters.
Condoling Milkha Singh’s demise, Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Union Territory Administrator, VP Singh Badnore said, “Extremely grieved at the demise of #Flying Sikh# Padma Shree#Milkha Singh Ji.”
“India has lost another precious life to #Covid. His contribution in the field of sports will be remembered forever,” Mr Badnore tweeted.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said India has lost a great athlete.
“Milkha Ji has left us but he will always inspire every Indian to shine for the country. ‘Flying Sikh” will always live in the hearts of the Indians,” Mr Khattar tweeted.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)