Scientist and activist Prof. Dinesh Mohan passes away

The 75-year-old dedicated life to both science and human rights

Senior scientist and activist Professor Dinesh Mohan passed away on the morning of May 21, 2021. He died at 6:45 A.M following a massive cardiac arrest at St. Stephen’s hospital, where the 75-year-old was being treated for second stage Covid-19 complications. The scientist was also an advocate for road safety and injury prevention. He was also very vocal about environmental issues and human rights.

The news of his demise left activist and civil society members heart broken and they expressed their grief on social media.




The professor was an active participant in India’s human rights movements. As a member of the Citizens Tribunal on the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 he wrote reports on the destruction in Ayodhya. Further as a Concerned Citizens’ Collective member in 2016, he co-authored reports on human rights violations in Kashmir.

He also wrote about communal violence in many cities, the Bhopal gas disaster, and the burning of the railway carriage in Godhra, Gujarat. Among his many credentials and titles, he was the Founding member of the Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, 1994.

Other titles include Centre for Biomedical Engineering Head, Transportation Research and Injury Prevention Programme Coordinator and World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Safety Technology Head at IIT Delhi.

On Friday, WHO Director Social Determinants of Health Etienne Krug tweeted, “Deeply shocked to learn about the passing of a giant of injury prevention. Dinesh Mohan was an innovative, driven and fun leader in the field. Co-founder of the series of World Conferences and visionary road safety champion. He leaves a huge legacy. Rest in peace my friend.”

He published some of the earliest studies on the limited role of hard shells in motorcycle helmets, mechanical properties of human soft tissues at very high strain rates, head injury criteria for children, safety of three-wheeled scooter taxis and brought national attention to burn injuries caused by fireworks during Diwali and agricultural injuries due to farm machines. He was also the Director of the Independent Council for Road Safety International.

His legacy is now available to the people in the form of books, reports and monographs.


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