Had Indira Gandhi Killed Lal Bahadur Shastri to Gain Power

Had Indira Gandhi Killed Lal Bahadur Shastri to Gain Power

The Death Mystery of Lal Bahadur Shastri: What Really Happened in Tashkent?

Lal Bahadur Shastri was the second Prime Minister of India who led the country during the 1965 war with Pakistan. He was known for his simplicity, honesty and courage. He gave the slogan of ‘Jai Jawan-Jai Kisan’ to boost the morale of the soldiers and farmers. He also played a key role in promoting the Green Revolution and the White Revolution in India.

However, his life was cut short by a sudden and mysterious death on January 11, 1966 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He had gone there to sign a peace agreement with Pakistan, called the Tashkent Declaration, after the war. He died of a heart attack at around 2 am, just hours after signing the treaty.

But was it really a natural death or a well-planned assassination? There are many conspiracy theories and unanswered questions surrounding his death that have not been resolved even after 57 years. Here are some of them:

Was Shastri poisoned?

One of the most popular theories is that Shastri was poisoned by someone who did not want peace between India and Pakistan. Some of the suspects include the CIA, the KGB, Pakistani agents or even some Indian politicians.

There are several clues that point to this possibility. For instance, Shastri's personal doctor RN Chugh, who was with him in Tashkent, said that he had no history of heart problems and that he was in good health before his death. He also said that he saw some blue spots on Shastri's body, which could indicate poisoning.

Another clue is that the Russian butler who served Shastri his last meal was arrested and interrogated by the KGB, who suspected poisoning. The butler later said that he thought that another cook, Jan Mohammad, who worked for the Indian ambassador in Moscow, had poisoned Shastri.

A third clue is that Shastri's family members and close aides noticed some strange things after his death. His wife Lalita Shastri said that his body had turned dark and swollen, which was not normal for a heart attack victim. His son Anil Shastri said that his father's personal belongings, such as his thermos flask and clothes, were missing. His press secretary TN Kaul said that he saw two men enter Shastri's room just before his death.

Why was no post-mortem done?

Another question that haunts many is why no post-mortem or autopsy was done on Shastri's body to determine the exact cause of death. This is a standard procedure for any VIP who dies abroad.

The official explanation given by the Indian government was that it was not required as per the Russian law and that it would have delayed the transportation of the body to India. However, this does not seem convincing as there are reports that suggest that the Russian authorities had offered to conduct a post-mortem but were refused by the Indian side.

Some believe that there was a cover-up by the Indian government to hide the truth about Shastri's death. They allege that some powerful people in India were involved in or benefited from his death and did not want any investigation.

What happened to the inquiry commissions?

Over the years, several attempts have been made to unravel the mystery of Shastri's death through various inquiry commissions and committees. However, none of them have been able to reach a conclusive verdict or provide satisfactory answers.

The first inquiry commission was set up by the Indian Parliament in 1977 under Justice GD Khosla. It examined various witnesses and documents but could not find any evidence of foul play or poisoning. It concluded that Shastri died of a heart attack due to stress and fatigue.

The second inquiry commission was set up by the Delhi High Court in 2009 under Justice Mukul Mudgal. It also reviewed various records and testimonies but could not access some crucial documents such as Shastri's medical report and post-mortem report from Russia. It stated that it could not come to any definite conclusion without these documents.

The third inquiry commission was set up by the Central Information Commission (CIC) in 2018 under Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu. It directed the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and other concerned agencies to declassify and disclose all relevant records related to Shastri's death under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. However, these agencies have not complied with this order so far.

Will we ever know the truth?

The death mystery of Lal Bahadur Shastri remains one of the biggest unsolved cases in Indian history. It has sparked many debates, controversies and speculations over the decades. It has also inspired many books, films and documentaries.

However, unless there is a thorough and transparent investigation with full access to all available information, we may never know what really happened in Tashkent on that fateful night.

Author Remarks

Did Indira Gandhi have a hand in killing one of our best prime ministers, Lal Bahadur Shastri? What are your thoughts on this? Please share them in the comment box below. Or do you know something else that can help us reach a conclusion? Please comment below.


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