|The assasination of Indira Gandhi [from Vengence//Pranay Gupte]
||[Mar. 4th, 2007|06:21 pm]
Was she herself seized by some premonition about her death?|
Dhawan glanced quickly at the handwritten note. This is what Mrs. Gandhi had written:
I have never felt less like dying and that calm and peace of mind is what prompts me to write what is in the nature of a will. If I die a violent death as some fear and few are plotting, I know the violence will be in the thought and action of the assasin, not in my dying- for no hate is dark enough to overshadow the extent of my love for my people and my country; no force is strong enough to divert me from my purpose and my endeavor to take this country forward.
A poet has written of his 'love' -- ' how can I feel humble with the wealth of you beside me?' I can say the same of India. I cannot understand how anyone can be an Indian and not be proud-- the richness and infinate variety of our composite heritage, the magnificence of the people's spirit, equal to an disaster or burden, firm in their faith, gay spontaniety even in poverty and hardship.
At 9:15 Mrs. Ghandi stepped out of her home, with Narain Singh, a New Dehlhi policeman, holding an umbrella over her head to shield her from the sun. Dhawan was behind them. And behind him were Rameshwar Dayal, a local police sub-inspector, and Nathuram, Mrs. Gandhi's valet. She walked briskly, as was her custom, toward the Akbar Road office. As she neared a hedge, she spotted Beant Singh, a Sikh policeman who had been part of her security guard for six years. She smiled at the twenty-eight-year-old Beant. The tall bearded Sikh was still attatched to her personal sexurity force because the prime minister herself had resisted pleas from aides to have him transferred in the wake of the assault on the Golden Temple. "I have nothing to fear from the Sikhs," Mrs. Gandhi told them.
Beant moved up to Mrs. Gandhi, whipped out a pistol, pointed it at her, and fired three shots into her abdomen. Without a word, Mrs. Gandhi started to fall to the ground. But before her body slumped, another Sikh guard, Satwant Singh, twenty-one years old, emerged from the hedge and opened up with a Thompson automatic carbine. Mrs. Gandhi's body was nearly lifted from the fround by these powerful bullets; she spun around, then crashed to the ground. In the space of twenty secnods, thirty-two bullets had been pumped into her small, frail body. It was now 9:17am.
The body lay on the ground for nearly a minute before anyone took action. Her bodyguards had dived for cover. Rameshwar Dayal had been shot in the thigh from the round fired by Satwant Singh. When Dhawan and the others rose, they saw Beant and Satwant standing with their hands raised; they had dropped their weapons.
"We have done what we set out to do," Beant Singh said, in Hindi. "now you can do whatever you want to do."