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Sufi singer Barkat Sidhu dies

Noted Punjabi Sufi singer Barkat Sidhu, who was battling cancer, has died at his home here, his family said today. He was 68.

Sidhu, who was admitted at a private hospital in Ludhiana for the past few months, died late last night. Laddi, the deceased singer's son, said that he brought his father here from Ludhiana yesterday as his condition was "critical".

"Doctors could not provide chemotherapy at the hospital in Ludhiana due to his acute weakness," his son said. Born in 1946 at Kaniya village near Shahkot in Jalandhar, Sidhu was the cousin of another noted Punjabi Sufi singer Puran Shahkoti.

In June this year, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had directed the authorities of the private hospital in Ludhiana, where Barkat was admitted, to provide him treatment at free of cost. Some of his famous compositions are 'Alit Allah' and 'Uth Gaye Gwandon Yaar Rabba Hun Ki Kariye'.

He was an exponent of 'Patiala Gharana.' Meanwhile, Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal expressed grief over the demise of Sidhu, an official spokesman said. They described Sidhu as a "shining star" in the galaxy of peerless sufi singers of world. Through his decade long singing he left an indelible message of love and concordance, they said. His cremation was attended by friends and family.

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