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Shehnai king Bismillah Khan hospitalised

Mulayam Singh Yadav has given the maestro an assurance that the state would bear his treatment expenses.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2006 14:54 IST

Shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan was hospitalised in Varanasi on Thursday due to extreme weakness following a brief illness.

Khan, 92, had fallen ill about a week ago and was being treated by a private consultant at his residence here. However, he became very weak prompting the attending physician to get him admitted to the Heritage Hospital in Varanasi on Thursday morning.

"Bismillah Khan Saheb had been complaining of acute weakness over the past few days. He was also suffering from loss of appetite. So on the doctor's advice, we shifted him to a well-known private nursing home," the musician's personal secretary Syed Javed Ahmed said and added, "Khan Saheb was better around noon, when I spoke to him."

Last week, the maestro, who was awarded the Bharat Ratna - India's highest civilian honour - in 2001, was presented a cheque of Rs.250,001 as ex-gratia grant from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Thursday assured the shehnai wizard that the state government would bear the cost of his treatment. The Chief Minister's assurance was conveyed to Khan by the Varanasi district magistrate who visited the hospital in the morning.

First Published: Aug 17, 2006 14:54 IST