It was 1965 September, The conflict began following Pakistan’s Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against Indian rule. India retaliated by launching a full-scale military attack on West Pakistan.(the Bangladesh was till under Pakistan ruled and know as east Pakistan).so war broke out following the 2nd indo-pak war , it continued for seventeen days till the UNO invented with mandated ceasefire following diplomatic intervention by the Soviet Union and the United States.
The Soviet Union, led by Premier Alexei Kosygin, hosted ceasefire negotiations in Tashkent (now in Uzbekistan), where Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistani President Ayub Khan signed the Tashkent Agreement, agreeing to withdraw to pre-August lines no later than 25 February 1966.
Next night ,Around 1.25am on January 11, Shastri woke up, coughing severely. The room he was in had no phone or intercom. So he walked out to another room to tell his staff to inform his personal doctor RN Chugh. By the time Dr Chugh arrived, Shastri was dying. The symptoms were of a heart attack. There was not much Dr Chugh could do now. He began to cry. “Babuji, you did not give me enough time.” Shastri took Lord Ram’s name and he was gone.
So now the question rises is was it truly a death or its a well planned murder ?
Lets get into the mysteries night that took away Lal Bahadur Shastri from us .
1. The KGB suspected poisoning
At 4am, Ahmed Sattarov, the Russian butler attached to Shastri, was rudely woken up by an officer of the Ninth Directorate of the KGB (responsible for the safety of VIPs). In Sattarov’s own words, the KGB officer “said that they suspected the Indian prime minister had been poisoned”.
Sattarov was handcuffed and, along with three junior butlers, was rounded off to a location 30km away. Their harsh interrogation commenced in a dungeon. After some time, Jan Mohammad was brought in. In Sattarov’s words again: “We thought that it must have been that man who poisoned Shastri.”
Decades after the harrowing interrogation he was subjected to, Sattarov continued to reel under its impact. “We were so nervous that the hair on the temple of one of my colleagues turned gray before our eyes, and ever since I stutter”.
2. Shastri’s near and dear ones see a needle of suspicion pointing towards an insider’s hand. so was it an assassination ?
When Shastri’s body was brought to Delhi, no one had any clue about what the KGB was suspecting. But seeing strange blue patches on Shastri’s body, his mother screamed that someone had poisoned her son. “Mere bitwa ko jahar de diya!” The old woman’s wail continues to haunt the Shastri family till date.
Shastri’s sons Anil and Sunil Shastri (one in Congress, another in BJP) and grandsons Sanjay and Siddharth Nath Singh have often spoken about their ongoing anguish and pain about what happened so long ago.
3. No post mortem was carried out on Shastri’s body ,why ?
The only sure-shot way to find out whether or not Shastriji was poisoned was to carry out a post-mortem on his body. The family demanded it. But the demand was not accepted. Interim prime minister Gulzarilal Nanda was to later on feign ignorance about Shastri’s family approaching him with the demand.
The ministry of external affairs (MEA) informed the plainer on July 1, 2009 that the division concerned had no information on the subject. It was quite strange because the sudden death of the prime minister must have thrown the Indian embassy in Moscow and the ministry in New Delhi into a tizzy.
4. RTI responses muddied the water further
Ambassador Kaul must have scrambled to inform Delhi of the tragedy. The ministry would have gone on an overdrive to find out the circumstances leading to the prime minister’s death. The ambassador must have been asked to send blow-by-blow reports, and he must have done that.
On July 21,An another RTI filed seeking copies of the entire correspondence between the MEA and the embassy and between the embassy and the Soviet foreign ministry over the issue. requesting the ministry to clearly state in case no such records were extant. In its belated response, the MEA refused to release the information, pleading that doing so would harm national interest.
It was only after the intervention of chief information commissioner Satyananda Mishra that the MEA, in August 2011, supplied the copies of Dr Chugh’s medical report and a copy of the statement made by the external affairs minister in the Rajya Sabha. Neither of them was classified. There was no word about the secret documents.
Mishra upheld the PMO’s decision in withholding the single secret record with it. Later, I learned that this record contained a conspiracy theory that the Americans had spread rumours about foul play in Shastri’s death.
5. was it Indira Gandhi, aspiring to become next prime minister? .
However, we must realize that although Indira Gandhi became a very powerful PM later on, she was a political nobody in 1965 when the conspiracy to kill Shastri must have been hatched. She was not even a senior level cabinet minister. Nor could she have predicted with any degree of certainty that she would become the next PM and would be able to avoid being caught for her criminal conspiracy (of killing Shastri).
Indian politics was very strongly male-dominated in 1965 (and it still is). As of 1965, India had no history of powerful women politicians in the ruling Congress party (or in any other major party). Thus it is extremely unlikely that, Indira Gandhi, a woman, would have had the vision or ambition to become the next PM of India by hatching a conspiracy to kill Shastri.
To convict someone of a crime, you need to establish three things: motive, means (ability to commit the crime), and opportunity.
Indira Gandhi had a weak motive, weak means, and weak opportunity (unless you assume that Russians were a party to the crime). The same can be said of any other Indian political leader who may have benefited from Shastri’s death.
6.or was it USA, through CIA ?.
this interview (see link below) by a CIA “director of plans” named Robert Crowley. In this interview, Crowley tells a journalist Gregory Douglas that it was the CIA which killed both Shastri and Dr. Homi Bhabha in January 1966. Crowley also told the journalist to publish this interview only after his death. Of course, one cannot simply take Crowley’s claims at their face value. So let us look at some other evidence/reasons that support his claims:
a. There are good reasons to believe that these two deaths (Shastri and Bhabha) were not due to acts of God.
b. The proximity of these two unnatural deaths (just two weeks apart) adds credibility to CIA’s claims. Also, both these deaths occurred outside India which would have made it easier for CIA.
c. I have never come across any alternative explanations of these two deaths that is half as convincing. The official explanations (heart attack for Shastri, and pilot error for Bhabha’s plane crash) are not based on any hard evidence. They are just convenient speculations designed to stop further investigations.
d. There is no good reason/motive for Robert Crowley to fabricate these fancy claims.
e. CIA used to routinely assassinate unfriendly foreign leaders in 1960s. CIA’s several (unsuccessful) attempts on Fidel Castro’s life during 1960-1965 are well documented (see link below). In the cold war calculus of those days, Shastri was deemed unfriendly to US. Shastri had defeated a US ally (Pakistan) and had refused to shut down India’s nuclear program.
f. CIA always had a definite agenda to eliminate nuclear threats from developing countries.
g. CIA and/or Mossad are believed to have killed several Iranian nuclear scientists in more recent times.
h. Shastri’s being in the USSR provided a unique opportunity to CIA to poison him. CIA could have easily used a Russian double agent to do the dirty job.
7. or was it Pakistan ?
After war the Pakistan had clearly lost the war and suffered a International humiliation due the leadership of Lal Bahadur Shastri from India . so there is a slight chances this could have happened but wait , before jumping into this conclusion think .
they is no proof that Pakistan had planned a assassination as plot didn’t happened in Pakistan . it happened in the soviet soil and Russia was ally of India and they wouldn’t let it happen from there end .
every trial that we follow lead us to dead end , the sequence is unfilled as about what actually happened on that night seem real mystery . probably Shastri might have actually died due to heart attack but they is less evidence to support the facts, as both the nation was in a shock that he was dead .