Amritsar: Veteran communist leader Satyapal Dang, who had been in the forefront of the fight against terrorism and secessionism in Punjab, died here on Saturday after a brief illness, CPI sources said here.
Dang was 86. His wife Vimla, who was also a CPI women`s wing leader, pre-deceased him about five years ago.
Dang, who was a fire-brand leader of the student movement during British rule, became the General Secretary of the All India Students Federation in 1945. Both he and his wife had remained underground during British rule.
He led several struggles of various sections of the people, including peasants and workers, and was elected four times to Punjab assembly from Amritsar. He was also Food Minister of the state in 1967.
At the height of terrorism in Punjab in 1980s, Dang was vocal and active against the forces of secession. It was he who had then given the slogan -- `Na Hindurashtra, na Khalistan, jug jug jiye Hindustan` (neither a Hindu state, nor a separate Khalistan, long live India).
According to Dang himself, one of the most memorable experiences in his life was supporting the 1946 Naval Mutiny, in which cadre of the Royal Indian Navy rose in rebellion and took control of a large number of British warships tearing down the Union Jack.
The revolt had spread to 74 ships, 20 fleets and 22 units of the Navy along the Indian coastline and abroad. It involved Mumbai, Kolkata, Karachi, Chennai, Cochin, as also Singapore and as far as Europe.
CPI sources said the last rites of Dang would be performed here tomorrow.