Story of Lal Bahadur Shastri’s sudden death which seems none less than a conspiracy

During his tenure as Prime Minister, Shastri visited many countries. Incidentally while returning from the Non Alliance Conference in Cairo on the invitation of then President of the Pakistan, Mohammed Ayub Khan to have lunch with him, Shastri made a stop over at Karachi Airport for few hours and breaking from the protocol Ayub Khan personally received him at the Airport and had an informal meeting during October 1964. After the declaration of ceasefire with Pakistan in 1965, Shastri and Ayub Khan attended a summit in Tashkent (former USSR, now in modern Uzbekistan), organized by Alexei Kosygin. On 10 January 1966, Shastri and Ayub Khan signed the Tashkent Declaration. Shastri died in Tashkent, at 02:00 on the day after signing the Tashkent Declaration, reportedly due to a heart attack, but people allege conspiracy behind the death. He was the first Prime Minister of India to die overseas. Shastri’s sudden death immediately after signing the Tashkent Pact with Pakistan raised many questions in the minds of Indian citizens. The Prime Minister of India going to Tashkent for a pact and never coming back has not been accepted easily by Indian citizens. His health was fit according to his doctor, R. N. Chugh, and he had no sign of heart trouble before. Shastri’s sudden death has led to persistent conspiracy theories that he was poisoned. It was maintained that Shastri had died of cardiac arrest but his family insisted he was poisoned. After Shastri’s death, his wife Lalita Shastri had alleged he was poisoned. His son, Sunil Shastri, asked the government to unravel the mystery behind Lal Bahadur Shastri’s death. Raising doubts about the dark blue spots and cut marks on the abdomen of his father’s body after his death in 1966, Sunil asked how the cut marks appeared if a post-mortem had not been conducted. When Shastri went to the USSR for the Tashkent talks, he wanted a promise from Ayub Khan that Pakistan would never use force in the future. But the talks did not proceed and followed Shastri’s death on the next day. Later, Gregory Douglas, a journalist who interviewed former CIA operative Robert Crowley over a period of 4 years, recorded their telephone conversations and published a transcription in a book titled Conversations with the Crow. In the book, Crowley claimed that the CIA was responsible for eliminating Homi Bhabha, an Indian nuclear scientist whose plane crashed into Alps, when he was going to attend a conference in Vienna; and Lal Bahadur Shastri. Crowley said that the USA was wary of India’s rigid stand on nuclear policy and of then prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who wanted to go ahead with nuclear tests. He also said that the agency was worried about collective domination by India and Russia over the region, for which a strong deterrent was required.

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