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New Delhi: Eminent Hindi poet and Jnanpith awardee Kedarnath Singh died in New Delhi on Tuesday following prolonged illness. He was 84.

Singh, who was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), died at 8:45pm, Jnanpith director, Leeladhar Mandloi said. “He was infected with pneumonia in Kolkata where he goes to visit his sister every winter. He was under treatment there for a month," he said. Mandloi said the poet recovered after coming to Delhi, but his condition worsened later. Singh was admitted in hospitals at Saket and Moolchand, before being shifted to AIIMS, he said.

A hospital source said the poet had been admitted in AIIMS since 13 March. Singh is survived by a son and five daughters. His final rites will be held at 3pm on Wednesday.

Hailing from a village in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Kedarnath Singh was one of the most celebrated Hindi poets. A Jnanpith and Sahitya Akademi awardee, Singh was known for his simple style of writing, often inspired by objects of everyday life. Some of his best known works include the award-winning poetry collection Akaal Mein Saras, Bagh, Abhi Bilkul Abhi, Zameen Pak Rahi Hai, Yahan Se Dekho, Tolstoy Aur Cycle among many others.

Singh was also an acclaimed critic and essayist. His stories and essays include Mere Samay Ke Shabd, Kalpana Aur Chhayavad, Hindi Kavita Mein Bimb Vidhan, Kabristan Mein Panchayat.

Talking about the great literary void that Singh has left behind, Mandloi said he was among the top three poets in the Hindi literature. “He was one of those poets who was political in his own way. He kept a low profile," he said.

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