Satwant Singh Bhakar (1962–1989) was a Sikh bodyguard to the Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, who on 31 October 1984 assassinated Indira Gandhi at her residence along with another bodyguard, Beant Singh.
The assassination of Indira Gandhi was motivated by Operation Blue Star, an attack on Sikh separatists residing in Golden Temple complex in Amritsar, India. Satwant Singh and Beant Singh fired thirty three bullets into Indira Gandhi's chest and abdomen. Initially Beant Singh drew a .38 revolver and fired three shots into Indira Gandhi's abdomen. As she fell to the ground, Satwant Singh Bhakar fired all 30 rounds from his Sten automatic weapon into her abdomen. Having completed their mission, both assassins then dropped their weapons and surrendered. Beant Singh was shot to death during interrogation in police custody soon after the assassination. Satwant Singh was arrested and later sentenced to death by hanging along with co conspirator Kehar Singh. The sentence was carried out on 6 January 1989. Satwant Singh was the last man to be hanged in Tihar Jail in Delhi until Afzal Guru who was hanged on 9 February 2013 for being the conspirator of 2001 Indian Parliament attack.
After the execution
The Indian government did not hand over the bodies of Satwant Singh Bhaker and Kehar Singh to their next of kin. Their bodies were cremated within Tihar jail. The last wish of both Satwant Singh Bhaker and Kehar Singh was that their ashes be taken to Shri Kiratpur Sahib. Citing concerns about possible violence, the authorities refused to turn even the ashes over to the relatives for use in religious ceremonies.
Their acts brought their immediate families into limelight, resulting in their winning two Lok Sabha seats from state of Punjab. The Lok Sabha is a directly elected 552 member lower house of the Parliament of India. Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was also an elected member of the same house.
Sikh Clergy Actions
In the year 2004, his death anniversary was again observed at Akal Takhat, Amritsar, where his mother was honored by the head priest and tributes were paid to Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh by various political parties.
In the year 2007, the death anniversaries of Satwant Singh and his wife were observed in various parts of Punjab and other countries.
On 6 January 2008 the highest Sikh temporal seat (Akal Takhat, Amritsar) declared Satwant Singh and other assassins of former prime minister Indira Gandhi martyrs of Sikhism SGPC also paid homage to both Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh and called them "martyrs of Sikh nation". Shiromani Akali Dal observed their death anniversary as 'martyrdom' on 31 October 2008.
Aftermath of execution of Satwant Singh & Kehar Singh
It was reported in the Indian press that during the aftermath of the executions of Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh, communal violence occurred in Punjab.
Singh's father was Tarlok Singh. He married Surinder Kaur (daughter of Mr. Virsa Singh) on 2 May 1988 while he was in jail. His fiance married him in his absence by marrying his photo in an Anand Karaj.
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