Beant Singh (assassin)

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For other people called Beant Singh, see Beant Singh (disambiguation)

Beant Singh (Punjabi: ਬੇਅੰਤ ਸਿੰਘ; 6 January 1959 – 31 October 1984), born in Jaitu in the Faridkot district of Punjab (India), was a bodyguard of Indira Gandhi who took part in her assassination in 1984. He was shot dead by the Prime Minister's other bodyguards after he killed her.

Assassination of Indira Gandhi[edit]

Operation Blue Star left a deep mark in the thinking of Beant Singh and Satwant Singh. On 24 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 in prime minister's security. On 31 October, Satwant Singh faked a stomach bug, and swapped duties with another guard so that they could work together to execute their plan. And in the same morning, i.e. at 09:00 of 31 October 1984 as Indira Gandhi walked from her house to her office at Safardajung Road, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh assassinated her by firing thirty three bullets into her chest and abdomen. 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 shouted Sikh religious slogan of "Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal!!" during the assassination.

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."[citation needed] They were apprehended and taken to a guardhouse where a struggle ensued in which Satwant Singh allegedly grabbed the commando's handgun, other commandos opened fire.[citation needed] Beant Singh died there from the gunshot wounds sustained in the room while Satwant Singh was seriously injured and was taken to a hospital on 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 given counsel to his nephew.

Beant Singh's family[edit]

Beant Singh's act generated a sympathy wave for his immediate family the Sikhs,[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. Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was also an elected member of the same house.

After his death, his wife Bimal Kaur Khalsa initially joined Sikh militants,[5] prior to her election as member of Lok Sabha from Ropar (Lok Sabha constituency).

His father Sucha Singh was elected member of Lok Sabha from Bathinda (Lok Sabha constituency).[4]

Beant Singh's son's name is Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa, who was five years old when Beant Singh killed Indira Gandhi and subsequently died.[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 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.[9]

In 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 Akal Takht declared Beant Singh and Satwant Singh 'martyrs of Sikhism', [10][11][12][13] while the SGPC also labeled them "martyrs of the Sikh nation".[14] [10]

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;[15] every 31 October since, their 'martyrdom day' has been observed at Sri Akal Takht Sahib.[16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Time. 12 November 1984 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,926929-2,00.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=8QufTc6fAocC&pg=RA1-PA135&lpg=RA1-PA135&dq=Satwant+Singh+indira&source=bl&ots=p1_zpPzvuT&sig=T4rDS9m28MGpMCfGwgfitfhMry8&hl=en&ei=ZJ36Sf_uNaGgtgOoqoTOAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5
  3. ^ "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  4. ^ a b Crossette, Barbara (1989-12-22). "India'S New Chief Given A Go-Ahead - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  5. ^ "Sikhs Sought In Slaying". India; Amritsar (India): NYTimes.com. 1986-06-06. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  6. ^ MyNews.in. "'Father didn't kill Indira Gandhi to make Sikhs happy': Beant Singh's son". MyNews.in. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  7. ^ "Press release (PR) distribution / newswire service from India PRwire". Indiaenews.com. 2012-09-28. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  8. ^ "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Punjab". Tribuneindia.com. 2003-01-07. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  9. ^ "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Punjab". Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 2013-01-19. 
  10. ^ a b http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=9640ce68-87e7-4f31-8106-e2d3752e35ac
  11. ^ "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Punjab". Tribuneindia.com. 2003-01-07. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  12. ^ "National : Indira Gandhi killers labelled martyrs". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  13. ^ "Indira assassin ‘great martyr’: Vedanti". Indian Express. 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  14. ^ [1][dead link]
  15. ^ "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Bathinda Edition". Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 
  16. ^ http://www.sikhsiyasat.net/2012/10/31/bhai-beant-singhs-martyrdom-day-observed-at-sri-akal-takht-sahib/
  17. ^ "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Punjab". Tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 2012-10-13. 

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