Khalistan ideologue Dr Sohan Singh, who passed away at the age of 98 on Wednesday, was cremated in Mohali on Thursday.
Survived by four sons, Dr Singh died of old age after a brief illness. Having passed his MBBS from Kind Edward College in Lahore before Partition, Dr Singh retired as director, health services, Punjab, in 1974. He had served as civil surgeon in different districts of the state and had settled down in Mohali around 15 years ago.
He had been practising physiotherapy after retirement when he drifted towards religious radicalism and the idea of a separate country for Sikhs.
He founded the Sikh Sophisticates’ Forum, and used to organise seminars on Khalistan. Having remained in regular touch with radical leader Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, in 1983 he had released a poster naming Bhindranwale as the “Sikh of the Year”.
After the army’s Operation Bluestar in 1984 to flush out militants from the Golden Temple, he made constant efforts for declaration of Khalistan, and succeeded in 1986 when the Panthic Committee, then an umbrella organisation of militants, finally made a ‘formal declaration’ at the Akal Takht in April of that year.
After remaining active in the Khalistan movement for about four years, he fled to Pakistan and was arrested from Nepal in 1992. Charged under the National Security Act, he remained in jail till 1995. Later, he was rather mysteriously exonerated of all charges and lived a life of anonymity.