Former NC legislator Rachpal Singh dies

Former legislator and senior leader of National Conference in Rajouri, Thakur Rachpal Singh, died after a brief illness and COVID19 infection on Monday.

A resident of Sialsui village of Kalakote tehsil in Rajouri district, Rachpal Singh was affiliated with National Conference for past several decades and won assembly polls from Kalakote segment twice. He also served as Vice-Chairman of J&K State Kissan Advisory Board in Omar Abdullah government from 2009 to 2014.

Officials said that he was shifted to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Hospital Katra on Saturday where he was put on oxygen support.

“His health deteriorated further in hospital and attempts to bring improvement in his health failed. He breathed his last in the hospital at 2 AM,” said the officials.

On Monday morning, his body was shifted to his native village Sialsui Kalakote as per SOP and the body was taken to cremation ground where only family members were allowed to remain present. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has extended his heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of former VC, Kisan Advisory Board and former MLA, Thakur Rachpal Singh.

In a condolence message, the Lt Governor prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul and courage to the bereaved family to bear the irreparable loss. National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah and Vice-President Omar Abdullah expressed shock and grief over the passing away of the former MLA, describing the death as a great loss to the party. “Thakur Rachpal Singh ji will always be remembered for his tireless contribution in ameliorating the lot of peasants, labour fraternity, weaker sections and downtrodden people of Jammu and Kashmir in general and Rajouri-Poonch belt in particular”, Dr Farooq Abdullah said in a message, adding that his selfless service will remain guiding force and inspiration younger generation of National Conference cadres.

In his condolence message, NC Vice-President Omar Abdullah expressed grief over the death, saying, “Only yesterday, I spoke to him to wish him well. He was on oxygen support but in good spirits. Less than 24 hours later he is no more. My prayers are with his family.”

National Conference General Secretary Haji Ali Mohammed Sagar, Provincial President Jammu Devender Singh Rana, Provincial President Kashmir Nasir Aslam Wani, former Finance Minister AR Rather and others paid tributes to the late leader.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad has expressed his grief on the death.

“Thakur Rachpal Singh, an honest and secular politician I have been knowing, will be remembered for his long time to come. He was a true public figure and was deeply rooted as a kind and loving politician of his constituency,” said Azad in his condolence message, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) president Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari expressed deep shock and grief over the demise.   In a statement, Bukhari described the deceased as a thorough gentleman who would always work tirelessly to mitigate the sufferings of people of his constituency. “His demise is an irreparable loss not only for his bereaved family, friends and acquaintances but for a vast circle he had developed in a cross section of the society,” Bukhari added.

Expressing solidarity with the bereaved family, the JKAP president prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul and courage to his near and dear ones to bear this irretrievable loss.