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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Khalistan ideologue Aulakh dies at 79 in US

Aulakh was a research scientist in the US. He had been bed ridden over the past few years.

punjab Updated: Jun 22, 2017 21:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
(left) Gurmit Singh Aulakh with Dal Khalsa former president H S Dhami in Washington.
(left) Gurmit Singh Aulakh with Dal Khalsa former president H S Dhami in Washington.(HT Photo )

Gurmit Singh Aulakh, a scientist who was known as an ideologue of the Khalistan separatist movement that ravaged Punjab for nearly two decades, died of colon cancer at the age of 79 in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. He was cremated the same day.

Living in the US since 1969, he had joined the radical World Sikh Organization (WSO) formed after Operation Bluestar in 1984 to take up cases of human rights violation. He later formed his own outfit, International Sikh Organization.

Born in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad in Pakistan), Aulakh moved to England in 1965 from Shahbazpur village in Amritsar, after quitting his job as inspector with the agriculture department. From there, he moved to the US, where he conducted research on genetics at Boston University and earned a doctorate.

He was nominated president of the ‘Council of Khalistan’ on October 1, 1987, by a five-member Panthic Committee; after that he was put on a black list by the Union home ministry. There was a case registered against him in India, but he never visited Punjab after 1984. His name was struck off the list last year.

In November 2000, Aulakh visited Pakistan to meet the then President Pervez Musharraf as part of a 12-member delegation to discuss Sikh issues.

“We have lost a dedicated Sikh nationalist leader whose contribution to the cause of Sikh independence was worth praising,” said Amritsar-headquartered radical outfit Dal Khalsa’s spokesman, Kanwal Pal Singh.

First Published: Jun 22, 2017 09:49 IST

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