Politics

The Indira Gandhi Death: Assassination Or Assisted Suicide ?

by Giz TimesJuly 4, 2015

The Indira Gandhi Death: Assassination Or Assisted Suicide ?

Mystery and scandal always surround those who enjoy the position of power, while they live and even after they have passed. This holds true for Indian politicians as well, who almost never rest in peace. One such mystery came close to getting uncovered on 29th June 2015. But since there wasn’t much truth to reveal, it remained a mystery probably aimed to create a scandal. It came in the face of a petition filed some three decades back in the Gujarat high court, to declare the assassination of the first woman prime minister of the country a suicide.
Mrs Indira Gandhi, the first and only woman prime minister of India was killed by two of her bodyguards on October 31, 1984. The assassination took place in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star, at Mrs Gandhi’s residence on Safdurjung road. The bodyguards that shot her were Satwant Singh and Beant Singh. After her death, the emergency election held saw a huge mass of people supporting her son Rajiv Gandhi who then became the prime minister. He received major sympathy votes and as a resulting became the prime minister in 1984.
The killing shook the whole nation by its roots and various theories about the people involved came up. Not only were the murderers apprehended, these theories also involved some questioning the murder itself. A theory akin to these was brought to the notice when Navnitlal Manilal Shah, a resident of Ghatlodia, Ahmedabad filed a petition in the Gujarat high court two years after the murder. The petitioner demanded that the court declare that Indira Gandhi was not assassinated but committed a well orchestrated suicide. Pending for 29 years, the case came up for hearing for the first time on Monday. It was immediately dismissed by the division bench judge who refused to declare the assassination a “suicide”.
Court records reveal that the petition was moved in 1986 and registered in 1988 but no notice was ever issued. The petitioner had referred to Dave commission, that probed the 1985 Gujarat riots, for circumstantial evidences to support his case. The matter was forgotten to such an extent that the government pleader’s office did not even have a copy of the petition. The two judges bench headed by Chief Justice V M Sahai immediately threw away the petition, not because of factual inaccuracy, but because no one ever came to press the case. Although Shah filed the petition, he failed to be present in the court to press the issue.
Shah claimed, “Mrs. Gandhi had committed suicide through arranged murder to give power to her son Rajiv Gandhi as hereditary successor and the elections of 1984 were based on national sacrifice made by Indira Gandhi.” To prove himself right, he came up with various other theories which he presented at various platforms and in front of various courts. He saw a larger design in Indira’s death. He asserted that the corruption charges angled against her would have created problems for her in the next general elections. He blamed Indira of taking part in the conspiracy theories that led to the removal and transfer of various ministers and that she was trying to evade prosecution like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan. And since Rajiv was the natural heir, to facilitate him into politics, she committed suicide. Shah in his theories and reports has also blamed some high ranking government officials and judges to have concealed the truth about her death and also her rumored involvement in Gujarat’s prolonged riots. According to him, to escape all the questioning that was sure to come her way, Indira staged an assassination to give her the status of martyr and enable her son to get sympathy and therefore the required elevation in politics.
Since the court has never had any records of the whereabouts of Shah, the petitioner, there is no way for us to find out whether his accusations and theories are true or not. But as no one ever appeared to press the case, the chief justice along with acting judge R P Dholaria dismissed the case at the stage of admission. The absence of the petitioner and of any factual evidences to prove his petition true has again arisen many doubts regarding the death of one of the most sought after prime ministers of the country. But as Chief Justice Sahai also said, “no one has put in appearance to press the petition”, it points at the lack of proofs and facts in the alleged suicide. Thus, just like the Gujarat high court, the populace should also dismiss the petition and dump it like another rumor in the growing pile.

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