VHP leader Ashok Singhal dead

VHP leader Ashok Singhal deadGURGAON: VHP leader Ashok Singhal, who rose to prominence playing a leading role in the Ram Janambhoomi movement in the late eighties and after, died today at a private hospital here.

Singhal (89), who was admitted to Medanta Medicity hospital on Saturday last with complaints of acute breathlessness and other problems, 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 organization in the Ayodhya Ram temple movement and sought to internationalize it by recruiting supporters and organizing branches world wide. 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 from 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 centered 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,”–PTI

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