- Praveen Kumar Sobti was remembered by his Mahabharat co-stars Nitish Bharadwaj, Gajendra Chauhan
- Praveen was a four-time Asian Games medallist before switching to a career in acting and politics
- Praveen’s body will be laid to rest in Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh crematorium ground
Former sports champion turned actor, Praveen Kumar Sobti passed away on Monday night in New Delhi aged 74. Reportedly, he had not been keeping well for a long time. He will be cremated at the crematorium ground in Punjabi Bagh in the national capital later on Tuesday. Praveen was a four-time Asian Games medallist in discuss and hammer throw and also participated in the Olympics twice. “He had a chronic chest infection problem. At night, when he started feeling uneasy, we called the doctor at home. He passed away between 10-10:30 PM following a cardiac arrest,” a relative of Praveen told PTI.
Praveen had joined the film industry in the late 70s after being asked to feature in a film by Ravikant Nagaich while he was away in Kashmir for a tournament. The film scene had no dialogue for Praveen but after that, there was no looking back for him. The 6’6” tall Punjabi man featured in many Bollywood films post this and played roles of henchman, goon, or a bodyguard because of his huge build. The turning point in his career was when he was cast in the role of Bheem in BR Chopra’s Mahabharat.
As the news of Praveen’s passing became known, fellow Mahabharat actor Nitish Bharadwaj, who played the role of Krishna and Gajendra Chauhan, who portrayed Yudhishthir, mourned his passing on Twitter.
Praveen was 20 when he joined the BSF. On Twitter, the official Twitter handle of the BSF paid a tribute to the deceased. “Director General & All Ranks of BSF condole the untimely demise of Praveen Kumar Sobti, former Deputy Commandant, Arjuna Awardee, two-time Olympian (1968 Mexico Games and 1972 Munich Games) & four-time Asian Games medallist (2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze),” read the tweet.
Praveen played many memorable roles in movies including the character of Mukhtaar Singh in Amitabh Bachchan‘s cult classic film Shahenshah. He later took the political plunge and contested in the 2013 Delhi Legislative elections on an Aam Aadmi Party ticket, but lost from Wazirpur constituency. Subsequently, in 2014, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. Last year, he openly expressed his displeasure over Punjab government not providing him pension.