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Eminent socialist Sunil Gupta passes away

Eminent socialist Sunil Gupta passes away

Eminent socialist Sunil Gupta, who was popularly known as Sunil Bhai, died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi at 11.30 p.m. on Monday. His last rites will be performed today at the Lodhi Road crematorium.

Sunil was the general secretary of the Samajwadi Jan Parishad - a Madhya Pradesh-based party founded by Kishan Patnaik - which emerged from the socialist tendency that refused to associate itself with the Janata government of 1977. The 54-year-old Gupta is survived by his wife Smita and children Iqbal Abhimanyu and Shiuli Vanja.

Gupta was a mentor to several socialists, including Yogendra Yadav of the Aam Aadmi Party. He led several movements in Central India ever since he started working for social causes with former union minister George Fernandes' Lohia Manch in Hoshangabad's Kesla in 1984. Sunil was born in Mandsaur's Rampura and he got educated at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where he did an MA in Economics.

Sunil became famous after leading agitations for rehabilitation of Tawa Dam oustees in 1995 and later he established India's most successful adivasi fishing cooperative in the Tawa Dam area. In the recent past, Sunil was asked to merge his party with Aam Aadmi Party but he refused to take the plunge.

Sunil was admitted to AIIMS after he suffered a stroke last Wednesday. He was earlier admitted in hospitals in Hoshangabad and Bhopal before being brought to AIIMS. Gupta lived without any electrical appliances and used only non-detergent cow brand soap manufactured in Pipariya.