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Beant Singh (politician)

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Beant Singh
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
Manner of deathAssassination
Political partyIndian National Congress
SpouseJaswant 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 12th Chief Minister of Punjab from 1992 to 1995. He was a member of Indian National Congress. He was assassinated in a suicide bombing.[1]

Early life[edit]

Beant was born in Jhajj Jat Sikh Family from Bilaspur village near Doraha in Ludhiana District. The family migrated to Canal colonies of the West Punjab but shifted to village Kotli (Kotla Afghana) near Payal in the Ludhiana district after partition. 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][2]


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 of the killing.[4][5] According to the Department of State the Khalistan Commando Force was also involved in the assassination.[6]

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.[7]

On 7 January 2015, Jathedar Jagtar Singh Tara who is alleged to be the mastermind in assassination of Singh was arrested by Thai Police in Bangkok after a request by the Indian investigative agency (Central Bureau of Investigation). Tara is currently undergoing a trial in an Indian prison.[8]

Personal life[edit]


Since his village was sandwiched between two major Namdhari sites of Malerkotla and Bhaini Sahib; he became a follower of the Namdhari tradition and received blessings from the Namdhari Satguru Pratap Singh, which is why he always wore a White coloured turban, and also because it was the Indian National Congress' party colour.[9] He had full faith in the Namdhari belief system and worked with Surinder Singh Namdhari during his tenure to help in the affairs of the sect when necessary.[9] Like Namdharis he did not eat meat or drink alcohol.[9] In 1993 a businessman wanted to start a large meat processing plant in Lalru, which would have given thousands of Punjabis jobs- though after Namdharis objected Beant Singh withheld permission.[9] He donated 500 acres of Government land in Punjab to Namdharis in Amritsar, Ludhiana and Malerkotla.[10][11][12]


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 was an MP from Anandpur Sahib for 5 years and later from Ludhiana for 10 years, he is currently a Minister of State for Food Processing Industries in the Third Modi Ministry. Another grandson, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, raped one French woman in Chandigarh; though there were no legal repercussions as the Congress was in power and he was given a ticket for becoming an MLA from Khanna where he won.[13] Another grandson Guriqbal Singh was the DSP Punjab Police.[14] His wife died in 2010.[15]


  1. ^ "New Violence in India Sikh Area Kills Official". The New York Times. 1 September 1995. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  2. ^ "Obituary: Beant Singh". The Independent. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  3. ^ Beant killing: First witness testifies. Indian Express.
  4. ^ "Punjab on edge over hanging of Beant Singh's killer Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana Ji". 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. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Eastern District of New York". 15 January 2012. Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  7. ^ "Beant Singh killing: Rajoana's hanging stayed". News18. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Mastermind behind ex-Punjab CM Beant Singh's murder arrested in Bangkok". Indian Express. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d Singh, Ujagar. Beant Singh Assasination - The Untold Story of his Assassination. BFC Publications. ISBN 978-93-5764-988-9.
  10. ^ Singh, Mohinder (2000). Punjab 1999: Political and Socio-economic Developments. Anamika Publishers & Distributors. ISBN 978-81-86565-76-6.
  11. ^ Data India. Press Institute of India. 1995.
  12. ^ Congress, Indian History (2008). Proceedings. Indian History Congress.
  13. ^ "Women's commission issues notice to Punjab govt in 23-year-old molestation case". The Indian Express. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2024.
  14. ^ "Beant Singh's widow dead". 2 August 2010.
  15. ^ "Mata Jaswant Kaur to be cremated Tuesday at BeaAANnt Singh memorial in Chandigarh". Punjab Newsline. 2010. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2012.


  • (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.