New Delhi: Indian Olympic Association on Tuesday mourned the death of its former president Vidya Charan Shukla, saying that sports in the country has lost "an able administrator and guide".
Shukla, a former union minister who had sustained bullet wounds in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh on May 25, died this afternoon at a hospital in Gurgaon after suffering from multi-organ failure.
He was 84. Shukla is survived by wife and three daughters.
Shukla was the IOA president from 1984 to 1987 and was also the former president of the Wrestling Federation of India.
"It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the death of former President of the Indian Olympic Association, V C Shukla. He was an able sports administrator and his contribution to the promotion of sports in the country will always be remembered by one and all. His death is a profound loss not just to his family but to the sporting fraternity of the country," IOA said in a release.
"We pray to the almighty to give strength and courage to his family to bear this irreparable loss and may his soul rest in peace," it added.
In a condolence message, the president of the suspended IOA, Abhay Singh Chautala and Secretary General Lalit Bhanot said the sports in the country has lost its `Bisham Pitama`.
"We lost a guide and a mentor. His death is a loss for every sportsperson and official who came in contact with him. We will miss him.
"It is sad that IOA has lost two of its former presidents in less than two months. We have yet not recovered from the death of Dr B S Adityan, who left us in April and now this tragedy has befallen. We know that Mr Shukla was very unhappy with the IOC suspending the IOA and was keen to see India`s return to the Olympic fold," the message read.
The IOA chief described Mr Shukla as a genuine sports lover who wanted to lift the standard of the sports in the country while Bhanot said he learnt a lot from him.
The IOA acting president Vijay Kumar Malhotra also mourned the death of Shukla.
"The sporting fraternity will miss his guidance. I have lost a personal friend whose advise I always valued," he said.
Malhotra recalled his old association with Shukla, saying the former IOA chief was always keen on helping the sportspersons.
He said though Shukla was a politician to the core, he always worked for the betterment of sports in the country.
"I pray to God to give his family the strength to bear this loss and may he rest in peace," Malhotra added.