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Why was Indira Gandhi assassinated? And death - facts and incidents
Image Source:wikipedia

Today (31October) is Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s death anniversary, she was assassinated on 31 October 1984 at her residence on Safdarganj Road in New Delhi at 09:29 am. Let us tell you that after Operation Blue Star, she was shot dead by her Sikh bodyguards Beant Singh and Satwant Singh.

 Let us tell you that Operation Bluestar was an operation led by an Indian Army, which was carried out from 01 to 08 June 1984 against Khalistani terrorists in Punjab. This order was given by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to remove Sikh terrorist leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and her armed followers from the buildings of Harmandir Sahib Complex in Amritsar, Punjab.

The collateral damage resulted in the death of several pilgrims who were being used by militants as human shields in the temple, as well as the head of Sikhism, the Akal Takht, in the encounter. The military action on the holy shrine was criticized by Sikhs across the world.

After Operation Bluestar, the possibility of danger to the life of Prime Minister Gandhi increased greatly. Accordingly, the Sikhs were removed from their personal bodyguard contingent by the central government on the tip of the secret information system for fear of an assassination attempt. But Indira Gandhi feared that this would establish her anti-Sikh status among the masses and strengthen her political opponents. So she ordered the Special Protection Team to reinstate her Sikh bodyguards, which included Beant Singh.

What was Operation Bluestar?

It was a military operation conducted by the Indian Army from June 03 to 06, 1984 to liberate the Harimandir Sahib complex in Amritsar (Punjab, India) from the pro-Khalistan supporter General Singh Bhindranwale and his supporters. In Punjab, separatist organizations under the leadership of Bhindranwale were becoming increasingly active, receiving indirect support from Pakistan.

On June 3, the Indian Army entered Amritsar and surrounded the Golden Temple complex. By evening, a curfew was announced in the city. The next day i.e. on June 4, the army started firing in action so that the weapons and weapons of the frontline terrorists present in the temple could be estimated. The Khalistani terrorists hiding inside opened fire from inside, due to which on June 5, the army decided to use armored vehicles and tanks. On the night of June 5, a decisive clash between the army and the Sikh militants began.

There was a heavy loss of life and property in this military action. The building of Akal Takht was very important from a religious point of view. Seriously damaged and after the action was rebuilt by the Government of India.

According to reports, shots were fired at the Golden Temple as well. The historically important Sikh library got burnt in this military action. According to the white paper of the Government of India, 83 soldiers were killed and 249 were injured in this operation. 493 extremists or civilians were killed, 86 were injured and 1,592 were arrested. This action was also condemned for several reasons, especially for hurting the religious sentiments of the Sikh community.

Criticism and protest against Indira Gandhi after Operation Blue Star

Her direct role in Operation Bluestar established Indira Gandhi as a villain among the Sikhs, as the incident damaged parts of the Akal Takht and caused casualties.

Sikh sensibilities and religious sentiments were hurt due to the alleged entry of the army with shoes into the Golden Temple complex due to outrage and the alleged destruction of Sikh scriptures and manuscripts in the temple library.

 Such actions created an atmosphere of mistrust among the Sikhs toward the government. The attack on the Golden Temple was seen by many Sikhs as an attack on their religion, and many prominent Sikhs serving in the government either resigned from their posts or returned honors given by the government in protest.

The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was also heavily criticized by the Sikhs for allowing this action. This atmosphere of mistrust turned into a conspiracy to assassinate Gandhi, which was carried out within five months of the conclusion of the operation.

Political profit and loss became the reason for the murder

After Operation Bluestar, the threat to the life of Prime Minister Gandhi increased greatly. Considering the possibility of assassination, the Sikhs were removed from her personal bodyguard contingent by the Intelligence Bureau for fear of an assassination attempt. But Indira Gandhi marked it as a political loss. So she ordered the reinstatement of her Sikh bodyguards in the Special Protection Force, which included Beant Singh.

Assassination and death of Indira Gandhi

Following the developments so far, two Sikh bodyguards in Indira Gandhi’s security contingent, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh opened fire on Mrs Gandhi on 31 October 1984 at her residence on Safdarjung Road, New Delhi at 09:29 am, killing her. happened. One of them, Beant Singh, was gunned down by security personnel on the spot, while the other, Satwant Singh, who was then 22 years old, was arrested.

When the incident happened, Indira Gandhi had passed through a small gate in the security cordon of Satwant and Beant to interview British actor Peter Ustinov while filming a documentary for Irish television. According to the eyewitnesses of the incident, after the available information, it was found that Beant Singh fired three times at her using the weapon next to her and Satwant Singh fired twenty-two rounds at her using a Stain Carbine.

Soon after the incident, Shramati Gandhi died on her way to the hospital in her government car, but the news of her death was not made public for hours. She was brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), where doctors performed her formal operation. According to government records at that time, 29 entry and exit wounds were found on the body, while some say 31 bullets were removed from her body.

Assassination and death of Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi’s blood-stained clothes kept at the Indira Gandhi Memorial, New DelhiImage Source-wikipedia

Indira Gandhi’s death announcement and funeral

Gandhi was declared dead at 02:20. Her body was taken to Teen Murti Bhawan on the morning of 01 November via the streets of Delhi where her body was kept for respect and public darshan. She was cremated on 03 November near Raj Ghat and the place was named Shaktisthal. Her eldest son and successor Rajiv Gandhi had lit a fire on Mrs Gandhi.

Article Sources:wikipedia, online source 

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