On 11th January, it marks the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, on the same day he passed away in 1966, in Tashkent, in present day Uzbekistan.
In 1904, Shastri shared his birthday with the former Mahatma Gandhi as he was born after 35 years, They both born on October 2. Showering from a simple family, he became an enthusiastic follower of Gandhi, and went on to hold important portfolios during his political career.
A famous reminiscence from the former PM’s life is, he resigned as railway minister, taking righteous responsibility for two separate train accidents which took place during his incumbency. In June 1964, he took over as Prime Minister in the wake of Jawaharlal Nehru’s quietus.
He was the nation’s second Prime Minister, who succeeded Jawaharlal Nehru, he was known for his simplicity and honesty, and was honored with the Bharat Ratna, also becoming its first posthumous donee.
As the nation’s chancellor, In 1965, Shastri supervised India’s response to Pakistani aggression, which resulted in a war between the two neighbors. Though the war officially ended with a peace, India had the upper hand over Pakistan when the peace was announced.
Here are four mysteries the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri:
His body had blue and white spots and there were cut marks on his stomach and back of his neck. His family professed that the blue color was due to poisoning. Also, if the post-mortem was not conducted then why were the cut marks there? His personal doctor RN Chugh revealed that he was in perfect health and had no sign of heart trouble. In 2009, the Indian government declared that it did have a medical investigation done by Shastriji’s doctor and some Russian doctors.
Tragic end of witnesses
In 1977, there were two witnesses – his servant Ram Nath and personal Dr RN Chugh – who escorted Shastriji on the tour and were scheduled to emerge in front of the legislative body but faced a brutal end. Dr Chugh and his family were on their way to meet the legislative body but they were hit by a truck. This accident took the life of Dr Chugh, his wife, and two sons. His daughter survived the accident but was paralyzed. Ram Nath who visited Shastriji’s home, before meeting the legislative body, said he was carrying a burden since Shastriji’s death and would reveal the truth soon. But he too was hit by a car. The accident crushed his leg and took his memory.
Murder plotted by CIA?
In a talk with Journalist Gregory Douglas, Robert Crowley, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent confirmed that CIA is behind the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri and even Dr Homi Bhabha. As the US seemed menaced by India emanating as a reformed state and also to put an end to Indo-Russian supremacy in the nuclear front.
The author of CIA’s Eye on South Asia, Anuj Dhar, filed an RTI concern to Lal Bahadur Shastri’s death. Replying to the RTI, the PMO acknowledged that there was a single classified document available which could not be declassified as it could affect foreign relations.