By Asia Samachar Team | INDIA |
Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa, a former hazoori ragi (resident kirtani) at Harmandir Sahib, passed away early this morning (2 April), a day after he was diagnosed with coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The 67-old renown kirtani, who had travelled the world over and have a large following among sangeet lovers, passed away after a heart attack at 4.30am, reports Hindustan Times.
Amritsar civil surgeon Dr Prabhdeep Kaur Johal said he was put on ventilator on Wednesday night after his condition worsened due to his bronchial asthma. With his death, the toll due to Covid-19 in Punjab has risen to six, the report added.
Nirmal was referred to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital (GNDH) from the local Shri Guru Ram Das Hospital on 30 March after he complained of breathlessness.
“He visited England in November. A health department team visited his house on March 3 after we got the information that two guests – his uncle and aunt – from the US visited him. They were found asymptomatic. When the home quarantine period of the guests was over on March 17, they were found asymptomatic. Bhai Nirmal Singh then went to Chandigarh for a kirtan samagam on March 19 where over 100 people gathered,” the report quoted Dr Johal.
“He tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday. He may have caught the infection during his trip to Chandigarh. He died of sudden cardiac arrest on Thursday.”
Nirmal was the first hazoori ragi of Harmandir Sahib, popularly known as the Golden Temple, to receive the Padma Shri award, a major India award usually given to Indian citizens in recognition of their contribution in various spheres of activity, including art, education, industry, literature and science, social work. He received the award in 2009.
Born on April 12, 1952, at Jandwala Bhim Shah village in Ferozepore, he did his diploma in gurmat sangeet from Shaheed Sikh Missionary College, Amritsar, in 1974-76, according to a previous Tribune News Service report.
He had been a music teacher in Gurmat College, Rishikesh, in 1977 and in Shaheed Sikh Missionary College, Sant Baba Fateh Singh, Sant Channan Singh, Budha Johar, Ganga Nagar, Rajasthan, in 1978. He became a “hazoori raagi” at Harmandir Sahib in 1977.