India’s prime ministers have been the targets of multiple assassination attempts. The prime minister is the executive leader of India‘s Union Government and is usually the country’s most powerful person.
Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, both prime ministers, were assassinated. While the former was slain while in office, the latter was assassinated after he had left office.
A look at the assassinations and the assassination attempts on India’s PM.
Prime ministers who have been assassinated:
On October 31, 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated at her residence on Safdarjung Road, New Delhi, at 9:29 a.m. In the aftermath of Operation Blue Star, she was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh. Indira Gandhi ordered Operation Blue Star between June 1 and 8, 1984, in order to remove Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his followers from the holy Golden Temple of the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar, Punjab. Many pilgrims died as a result of the collateral damage, as well as damage to the Akal Takht. Both inside and beyond India, the military action on the hallowed temple was denounced.
Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India, was assassinated on May 21, 1991, in Sriperumbudur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, by a suicide bomber. In addition to Rajiv Gandhi, at least 14 others were killed. It was carried out by Thenmozhi Rajaratnam (also known as Kalaivani Rajaratnam or Dhanu), a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE), a Sri Lankan Tamil separatist organization.
At the time, India had just completed its engagement in the Sri Lankan Civil War through the Indian Peace Keeping Force. Two commissions of inquiry have investigated subsequent allegations of conspiracy, which have resulted in the downfall of at least one government.
Gurbachan Singh Manochahal had provided logistical and tactical assistance. It was only in 2016 that his involvement was established.
Attempted assassinations of the PM of India
1947: Assassination attempt while visiting the North-West Frontier Province in a car during the partition of India in 1947 (as leader of the Interim Government).
1948: Three gang members who planned to assassinate Nehru in Delhi were apprehended in Dharamshala, Bihar. To put an end to the PM, the gang members were armed with handguns, rifles, and bombs.
4 May 1953: Police in Kalyan, Bombay State, discovered two men huddled along the railway tracks, thwarting an alleged attempt to bomb the Bombay–Amritsar Express, on which Nehru was travelling. It was eventually determined that the device mistakenly believed to be a bomb was actually a cracker, and the attackers were merely trying to create a stir.
1955: According to sources, a rickshaw driver attempted to stab Nehru when the latter was travelling by automobile in Nagpur.
1956: There was an attempt on Nehru’s life in Bombay. At a public meeting, he was attacked by a stone-throwing mob. However, the police were able to maintain control of the situation and save the Prime Minister.
30 September 1961: A botched bombing attempt on Maharashtra train rails in the Prime Minister’s path.
14 May 1985: Two Sikh males in the United States attempted to hide in a tree for three days, but the scheme was disrupted by the FBI.
16 June 1986: Four Sikhs were sentenced to prison for attempting but failing to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi in Leicester.
2 October 1986: While leaving the Raj Ghat in Delhi, Karamjit Singh, a Sikh shooter, fired bullets from an improvised, homemade pistol towards Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
30 July 1987: While inspecting the Guard of Honour at the Sri Lankan President’s House in Colombo, a Sri Lankan Navy sailor named Wijemuni Vijitha Rohana de Silva hit Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi with his rifle butt.