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Indira Gandhi assassinated in Delhi

  • Indira Gandhi becomes Prime Minister
  • Indira Gandhi imposes President's rule on Punjab
  • Indira Gandhi assassinated in Delhi
  • 1984: Indian prime minister shot dead.Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, has been killed by assassins in New Delhi. Mrs Gandhi was thought to have been walking through her gardens when she was shot. She was taken to the All India Medical Hospital where she underwent an emergency operation to remove the bullets but died an hour and a half later.

    Initial reports suggest the two attackers were guards at her home who were then shot by other security officers.No exact motive is known but it is believed the pair were Sikh extremists acting in retaliation for the storming of Sikh holy shrine the Golden Temple in June. Mrs Gandhi had been receiving death threats since the attack on the temple in which 1,000 people died.

    The night before her death she told a political rally: "I don't mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today, every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation." Security throughout the country has been stepped up. Roads to the hospital and the home of the prime minister have been sealed off and borders around Delhi have been closed.

    If I die today, every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation by, Indira Gandhi

    The Indian cabinet has started an emergency meeting to choose a successor.India's High Commissioner Prakash Mehrotra said: "Democracy is very deep rooted in our country and the country is prepared to face any situation. A meeting is being called in Delhi, it is usual that the number two man in the cabinet takes charge for the time being".

    Mrs Gandhi first became Prime Minister in 1966 and again in 1980 and was praised for her battle against famine in rural areas.Stan Orme from the Anglo Indian Parliamentary Association said: "It is a very terrible thing. She was a very impressive person, very strong willed. It is a real tragedy."

    Guarding against further challenges to her power, she removed the chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh just months before her assassination by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984. The news of Indira Gandhi's assassination plunged New Delhi and other parts of India into anti-Sikh riots for three days; several thousand Sikhs were killed...

    It is widely believed that the two Sikh bodyguards who assassinated Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, were driven by their anger over the Golden Temple episode. In the wake of Indira Gandhi's assassination, mobs rampaged through the streets of New Delhi and other parts of India over the next few days, killing several thousand Sikhs. The New Delhi police proved to be partisan observers and did little to stop or apprehend the rioters. Only after the deployment of the army, almost three days after the onset of the riots, was order fully restored.

    The New Delhi riots had repercussions in Punjab as militants stepped up their activities. Gandhi's son and political successor, Rajiv Gandhi, sought unsuccessfully to bring peace to Punjab with an accord signed with Harchand Singh Longowal, a moderate Sikh leader. Rajiv Gandhi's successors, belonging to the Janata factions, proved to be no more adept at resolving the crisis.

    Courtesy --- CHAITANYA

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