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Family seeks probe into Lal Bahadur Shastri’s death

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: Late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s son Anil Shastri on Saturday said his father’s death in 1966 – soon after signing a peace pact with Pakistan in Tashkent- could have been “unnatural” and demanded all government documents on the matter be made public. Anil’s younger brother Sunil Shastri also demanded an enquiry.

credit: www.wefornews.com
credit: www.wefornews.com

“The moment my mother (Shastri’s wife Lalita Devi) saw the body (after it was brought back to Delhi), she knew it was not a natural death. She told us it was a murder, there was out and out foul play,” Anil Shastri told a news channel.

However, Anil Shastri told a news agency that he did not think his father was poisoned. “I don’t think he was poisoned. There is some doubt about his death that keeps surfacing every now and then in the past five decades,” he said.

Clarifying his statement made during his TV interview, he said, “I have said it could have been an unnatural death or even natural death. I don’t have any evidence to say anything specifically.”

He, however, reiterated his demand for a thorough probe into his father’s death.

“These doubts have been voiced not by the family, but even by other people from time to time. The NDA government should declassify all the documents relating to Shastriji’s death for putting all the speculations to rest  about the death of the former Prime Minister, soon after Tashkent agreement’s signing ,” Anil Shastri told.

In his interview, Shastri, a Congress leader, urged the Prime Minister  Modi to release the documents and said it would not be ‘a bad idea to have an inquiry into his death, question all remaining witnesses and clear all speculation and at least establish the negligence’.

Shastri and Pakistani president, Field Marshal Ayub Khan, had been invited to Tashkent by then Soviet Premier, Alexei Kosygin, for peace talks following the India-Pakistan War in 1965. An agreement was signed on January 10, 1966, but Shastri was found dead a few hours later.

credit: www.outlookindia.com
credit: www.outlookindia.com

His family indicated that marks and spots seen on his body were signs of foul play.

Recalling the scene, Anil Shastri said, “When his body came to the Palam airport, we found that the body had turned blue and there were white spots on his temple.”

He termed it ‘unbelievable’ that the prime minister’s room in the capital of then Soviet Uzbekistan had ‘no call bell, no telephone, no caretaker in his room and no first aid. He had to walk up to the door himself’ and alleged that the death was due to the Indian embassy’s fault, and it was a incident reflecting ‘height of negligence’.

His death was badly handled by the Indian government. It hurts me to a great extent,” he said.

Opining that Shastri’s death was not taken ‘seriously’, he said, “Post-mortem could have been done in Tashkent on   Indian government’s call or on a request from the Indian doctors.”

“Some close associates feel that suspicion revolves around an Indian hand or a foreign power,” he added.

Anil Shastri claimed that his father had come to know about a scam involving shipping tycoon Dharam Teja. He told that an article by eminent journalist Khushwant Singh claimed Teja was in Tashkent at the time of his father’s death.

He also claimed that his father was likely to take action and order an inquiry against Teja after his return to India.

Anil Shastri also raised the sudden death of Dr.R.N. Chugh, the personal physician accompanying the then Prime Minister. Chugh had later died in an accident with his family.

He also added that his father’s personal assistant too met with an accident in which he crippled and lost his memory.

Sunil Shatri, who is a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, told a news agency that he had written to three prime ministers – Chandra Shekhar, I.K. Gujral and Manmohan Singh – requesting them to initiate an inquiry over his father’s death but nobody ever did anything.

“Chandra Shekhar and Gujral had replied that they will look over the matter, but nothing has been done till now,” he said.

Shastri’s grandson Siddharth Nath Singh told that it was a long-pending demand of the family. The history, when written on Shashtri ‘should speak the truth‘.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Lal Bahadur Shastri’s 112th Birth Anniversary: 10 Things you may not know about former Prime Minister of India

Shastri was the one who promoted the White Revolution in India, by supporting the Amul milk co-operative of Anand, Gujarat and also created the National Dairy Development Board

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Lal Bahadur Shastri, June 1964, New Delhi, India. Source: www.storyzest.com

October 2, 2016:

“There comes a time in the life of every nation when it stands at the crossroads of history and must choose which way to go. But for us there need to be no difficulty or hesitation, no looking to right or left. Our way is straight and clear—the building up of a socialist democracy at home with freedom and prosperity for all and the maintenance of world peace and friendship with all nations.”
– Lal Bahadur Shastri

NewsGram brings to you latest new stories in India.

Former Prime Minister of India Lal, Bahadur Shastri was one the greatest leaders India had and he has left an indelible impression on our lives. He was looked upon by Indians as one of their own. On Lal Bahadur Shastri’s 112th birth anniversary, here are few things about him and his achievements, that has made India a better country.

  • Lal Bahadur Shastri was not born with the title ‘Shastri’. Only after he graduated from Kashi Vidyapeeth, the title of Shastri (scholar) was awarded to him.
  • For the first time in India, Lal Bahadur Shastri as a Transport Minister made it possible for women to be work as conductors in transportation facilities.
  • The idea of using jets of water to disperse the crowd rather than lathi-charge was introduced by Lal Bahadur Shastri.

Go to NewsGram and check out news related to political current issues.

  • Shastri signed an accord with the Prime minister of Sri Lankan Sirimavo Bandaranaike known as the Sirima-Shastri Pact or the Bandaranaike-Shastri Pact.
  •  According to the agreement, 600,000 Indian Tamils were to be repatriated, 375,000 were to be granted citizenship of Sri Lanka. Though, after his death, India took only 300,000 Tamils as repatriates and SriLanka granted citizenship to only 185,000 citizens.
  • His slogan during the Indo-Pak war of 1965, Jai Jawan! Jai Kisan! reverberates throughout the country, even today. He understood how important soldiers and farmers are for which he shared this slogan with the people.
  • Shastri was the one who promoted the White Revolution  in India, by supporting the Amul milk co-operative of Anand, Gujarat and also created the National Dairy Development Board.

Look for latest news from India in NewsGram.

  • During his tenure as Prime Minister, Shastri and then President of the Pakistan, Mohammed Ayub Khan attended a summit in Tashkent (former USSR, now in modern Uzbekistan). On 10 January 1966, Shastri and Ayub Khan signed the Tashkent Declaration (agreement between India and Pakistan).
  • Shastri died in Tashkent, on that day itself after signing the Tashkent Declaration. It was reported that he died due to a heart attack, but his sudden death raised many questions in the minds of the citizens of India; people allege conspiracy behind the death and still remain a mystery.

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi