Beant Singh (Chief Minister)

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Beant Singh
Beant Singh 2013 stamp of India.jpg
12th Chief Minister of Punjab
In office
25 February 1992 – 31 August 1995
Preceded byPresident's Rule
Succeeded byHarcharan Singh Brar
Personal details
Born(1922-02-19)19 February 1922
Patiala, Punjab, British India
Died31 August 1995(1995-08-31) (aged 73)
Chandigarh, India
Political partyCongress
Spouse(s)Jaswant Kaur
ChildrenTej Parkash Singh
Gurkanwal Kaur
Alma materGovernment College University, Lahore

Beant Singh (19 February 1922 – 31 August 1995) was an Indian politician and the Chief Minister of Punjab from 1992 to 1995. He was a member of Indian National Congress. He was killed in a car bombing.[1]

Early life[edit]

Beant was born in undivided Punjab and later migrated to the Bilaspur village in the Doraha tehsil of the Ludhiana district. Thereafter he shifted to village Kotli in the same district. He completed his education from the Government College Lahore. At the age of 23, he joined the army but after two years of service, decided to make a switch to politics and social work.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

After the 1947 partition, Beant Singh entered the Punjab politics. In 1960 he was elected chairman of block samiti (committee) of Doraha, in Ludhiana district. After serving for some time as Director of the Central cooperative bank in Ludhiana, Beant Singh entered the Punjab Vidhan Sabha (assembly) as an independent candidate in 1969.[citation needed] He has been widely criticized for mass human rights violations and disappearances of Sikh youth during his tenure as a Chief Minister of Punjab.[2]

Assassination[edit]

Beant Singh was assassinated in a bomb blast at the secretariat complex in Chandigarh on 31 August 1995. The blast claimed the lives of 17 others including 3 Indian commandos. Beant Singh was accompanied by his close friend Ranjodh Singh Mann on the day of assassination.[3] Dilawar Singh Babbar of Babbar Khalsa International acted as the suicide bomber; later, the backup bomber Balwant Singh Rajoana was also convicted for the killing.[4][5]

In 2012, a Chandigarh court sentenced Rajoana to death. A number of Sikhs protested against the decision, and campaigned to stop the execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana. On 28 March 2012 the Government Of India stayed the execution of Rajoana after Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal met President Pratibha Patil seeking clemency for him.[6]

On 7 January 2015, Jagtar Singh alias Tara who is alleged to be the mastermind in assassination of Singh was arrested by Thailand Police after request by Indian investigative agency Central Bureau of Investigation. Tara is currently undergoing the trial in Indian prison.[7]

Personal life[edit]

His son Tej Parkash Singh was minister in the Punjab government led by Harcharan Singh Brar who succeeded him. His daughter Gurkanwal Kaur is a former minister of state for social welfare and Parliamentary secretary in the Amarinder Singh government. His grandson Ravneet Singh is an MP from Ludhiana. Another grandson, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, is an MLA from Khanna.[8] His wife died in 2010.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Violence in India Sikh Area Kills Official". The New York Times. 1995-09-01. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
  2. ^ "Obituary: Beant Singh". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  3. ^ Beant killing: First witness testifies. Indian Express.
  4. ^ "Punjab on edge over hanging of Beant Singh's killer Balwant Singh Rajoana". India Today. 28 March 2012. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  5. ^ "India court orders Rajoana execution to proceed". BBC News. 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
  6. ^ "Beant Singh killing: Rajoana's hanging stayed". News18.
  7. ^ "Mastermind behind ex-Punjab CM Beant Singh's murder arrested in Bangkok". Indian Express. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Beant Singh's widow dead".
  9. ^ "Mata Jaswant Kaur to be cremated Tuesday at BeaAANnt Singh memorial in Chandigarh". Punjab Newsline. 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-11.

Bibliography[edit]

  • (1995). "Beant Singh." The Times. 4 September.
  • Burns, John (1995). "New Violence in India." The New York Times. 1 September.
  • Dahlberg, John-Thor (1995). "Punjabi Minister Killed by Car Bomb in India." Los Angeles Times. 1 September.
  • Tully, Mark (1995). "Beant Singh; Claws of the Lion." The Guardian. 4 September.