Beant Singh (assassin)

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Beant Singh
BornBeant Singh
(1959-01-06)January 6, 1959
Jaitu, Faridkot, Punjab
DiedOctober 31, 1984(1984-10-31) (aged 25)
Guard room at 1 Safdarjung Road, New Delhi, India
Cause of deathGunshot wounds
NationalityIndian
OccupationBodyguard of the Prime Minister of India
EmployerGovernment of India
Criminal chargeAssassination of Indira Gandhi
Spouse(s)
Bimal Kaur Khalsa
(m. 1976; died 1984)
Parents
  • Sucha Singh (father)
  • Kartar Kaur (mother)

Beant Singh (6 January 1959 – 31 October 1984), born in Jaitu in the Faridkot, Punjab, was an assassin who served as a bodyguard of Indira Gandhi, one of two who took part in her assassination in 1984. He was shot dead by the Prime Minister's other bodyguards afterward.

Assassination of Indira Gandhi[edit]

Operation Blue Star left a deep mark in the thinking of Beant Singh and Satwant Singh. On 31 October 1984, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, both part of the Indian elite forces, who served as bodyguards for the Prime-minister, took Sikh Baptism (Amrit) at a Gurdwara in Delhi.

Satwant Singh always worked in the late shifts and Beant Singh worked in the early morning shifts as the prime minister's security. On 31 October, Satwant Singh faked a stomach illness, and swapped duties with another guard so that they could work together to execute their plan. That morning, at approximately 09:00 on 31 October 1984, as Indira Gandhi walked from her house, the assassination took place. Initially, Beant Singh drew a .38-calibre revolver and fired three shots into Indira Gandhi's abdomen.

As she fell to the ground, Satwant Singh fired all 30 rounds from his Sten submachine gun into her body.[1][2] They both allegedly shouted Sikh religious slogan of "Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal!!" during the assassination.[citation needed]

They placed their weapons on the floor afterwards while saying "We have done what we needed to, now you can do what you have to." They were apprehended and taken to a guardhouse where a struggle ensued in which Satwant Singh grabbed the commando's handgun. Other commandos opened fire and Beant Singh died on the spot. Satwant Singh was seriously injured and taken to a hospital upon the arrival of a senior security officer. Satwant Singh was later sentenced to death, along with Kehar Singh, the uncle of Beant Singh who had abetted his nephew.[citation needed]

Beant Singh's family[edit]

Beant Singh's act generated political support for Sikh radicals,[3] resulting in their winning two Lok Sabha seats from state of Punjab.[4]

The Lok Sabha is a directly elected 552 member lower house of the Parliament of India.[citation needed]

Singh's widow Bimal Kaur Khalsa initially joined a Sikh militant group,[5] prior to her own election as member of Lok Sabha from Ropar.[citation needed] His father, Sucha Singh, was elected member of Lok Sabha from Bathinda (Lok Sabha constituency).[4][6][7]

Honours and death anniversaries[edit]

In 2003, a Bhog ceremony was held at the highest Sikh temporal seat in Akal Takht, located in the Golden Temple Complex in Amritsar, where tributes were paid to Indira’s assassins.[8]

In 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.[9]

In 2007, the death anniversaries of Satwant Singh and his wife were observed in various parts of Punjab and other countries.[citation needed]

On 6 January 2008, the Akal Takht declared Beant Singh and Satwant Singh 'martyrs of Sikhism',[10][11][12] while the SGPC also labeled them "martyrs of the Sikh nation".[citation needed]

The Sikhism-centric political party in India, Shiromani Akali Dal, observed the death anniversary of Beant Singh and Satwant Singh as 'martyrdom' for the first time on 31 October 2008;[13] every 31 October since, their 'martyrdom day' has been observed at Sri Akal Takht Sahib.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Indira Gandhi: Death in the Garden". Time. 12 November 1984.
  2. ^ Mahmood, Cynthia Keppley (1 November 1996). "Fighting for Faith and Nation: Dialogues with Sikh Militants". University of Pennsylvania Press. Retrieved 25 January 2018 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 26 October 2009. Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b Crossette, Barbara (22 December 1989). "India'S New Chief Given A Go-Ahead - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Sikhs Sought In Slaying". India; Amritsar (India): NYTimes.com. 6 June 1986. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  6. ^ MyNews.in. "'Father didn't kill Indira Gandhi to make Sikhs happy': Beant Singh's son". MyNews.in. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Family profile". Indiaenews.com. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Press releaseDelhi, India - Punjab". Tribuneindia.com. 7 January 2003. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  9. ^ "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Punjab". Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Chandigarh, India - Punjab". Tribuneindia.com. 7 January 2003.
  11. ^ "National: Indira Gandhi killers labelled martyrs". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 7 January 2003. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Indira assassin 'great martyr': Vedanti". Indian Express. 7 January 2003. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Chandigarh, India - Bathinda Edition". Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Chandigarh, India - Punjab". Tribuneindia.com. 1 November 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2018.