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Posted at: Nov 17, 2015, 3:59 PM; last updated: Nov 17, 2015, 3:59 PM (IST)

Ashok Singhal dies at 89

Ashok Singhal dies at 89
A file photo of Ashok Singhal

New Delhi, November 14

Ashok Singhal, the 89-year-old patron of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, died in a hospital at Gurgaon today. He was admitted to Medanta Hospital on November 13 following a prolonged illness with complaints of acute breathlessness and other problems,

Singhal died at 2.24 pm following cardio-vascular failure and septicaemia, VHP International president Pravin Togadia, himself a doctor, told PTI.

A bachelor and an RSS pracharak all his life, Singhal, adopted an aggressive style in the “kar sewak” campaign in the build up to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December, 1992.

A metallurgy engineering graduate from Banaras Hindu University, he pitchforked the organisation in the Ayodhya Ram Temple movement and sought to internationalise it by recruiting supporters and organising branches worldwide. The overseas supporters contributed immensely to the VHP campaign.

Singh was in the Intensive Care Unit under treatment in the hospital after he was diagnosed with right lower lobe pneumonia. He was on ventilator since November 14 evening.

A team of specialists comprising critical care, respiratory, cardiology, endocrinology, neurology and nephrology had attended on Singh, the hospital had said yesterday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of Singh. “The demise of Ashok Singhalji is a deep personal loss.

“He was an institution in himself, whose life was centred around serving the nation,” he tweeted.

He said he was always fortunate to receive Ashokji’s blessings and guidance. “My condolences to his family and countless supporters,” he said.

The Prime Minister noted that Ashok Singhal was the force behind several noble deeds and social work, which benefited the poor. “He is an inspiration for generations,” he said.

Keeping in view Singhal’s failing health, the VHP had cancelled its 18-day Chaturved Swahakar Yajna that was slated to start at Delhi’s Birla Mandir from November 16, as well as its Diwali Milan programme. — PTI

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