Former Home Minister Buta Singh passes away

Former Union home minister Buta Singh, who served under four prime ministers in a political career spanning over five decades, died at the AIIMS here on Saturday morning. He was 86.

Singh was in a coma since October last year when he was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) after he suffered a brain hemorrhage. He died around 7.10 am, his family said.

He was cremated at the Lodhi Road crematorium in the evening. A large number of Congress leaders and workers attended the cremation. His supporters earlier paid their last respects to the departed leader at his Jangpura extension residence and at the Sri Nanaksar Gurudwara in Wazirabad, where his body was kept.

A staunch loyalist of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Singh was a member of Lok Sabha for eight terms, held several positions in varied ideological dispensations at the Centre and became the Governor of Bihar in 2004.

Singh often found himself at the centre of major controversies. He was once excommunicated from the socio-religious order of the Sikhs for his alleged role in the Operation Blue Star, but was pardoned a decade later.