Assassination of famous political leaders has always been prompted by some religious, political, ideological or military reasons but the end result is that we lose a person, a public figure whom we admire, respect or love to hate. In Indian history, we have come across many political personalities who have met their deaths not naturally due to age or illness but have been assassinated.
We give below a list of famous political leaders who were assassinated.
1) Mahatma Gandhi
Nathu Ram Godse, a Hindu nationalist, who considered Gandhi responsible for the partition, assassinated him. The first attempt was made on 20th January 1948 by throwing a grenade which was a failed attempt. On 30th January 1948, Bapu was shot dead.
2) Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi was assassinated on 31st October 1984 by her own Sikh bodyguards, few months after Operation Blue Star. This was a military operation ordered by Indira Gandhi to obtain control over Harmandir Sahib Complex in Amritsar. The operation carried out by the Indian army created anger among the Sikh community. Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards to take revenge of the operation. After shooting her, the guards threw their guns. While Beant Singh was immediately killed by the soldiers on duty on the spot, Satwant Singh was hanged to death in 1989.
3) Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi, the eldest son of Indira Gandhi. He took charge as the PM immediately after the assassination of his mother. He was assassinated on 21 May 1991 by a suicide bomber Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, also known as Dhanu, in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai. The motive behind the attack was to take revenge for sending the Indian Army to fight the LTTE militants in Sri Lanka.
4) Phoolan Devi
Phoolan Devi was a well-known dacoit turned politician, who had killed 22 Thakurs in the infamous Behmai massacare. These were the very Thakurs who had stripped and raped her in front of the entire village.
She served a jail term of 11 years. Later, she joined politics and became an active member of the Samajwadi Party. On June 25 2001, she was killed outside her official bungalow. She was a sitting member of the Parliament at that time. There were three gunman who fired at her. She received five bullets and died immediately.
5) Paritala Ravindra
Paritala Ravindra was a member of the legislative assembly and cabinet minister in Andhra Pradesh. A bomb was exploded near the Telegudesam party office and Ravindra was shot dead by his political rivals on 24th January 2005. Seven rounds were fired at him from a close range.
6) Pramod Vyankatesh Mahajan
Pramod Mahajan was one of the most popular second generation leaders of the BJP. He was the general secretary of the party, a member of the Rajya Sabha and also won the Lok Sabha elections. On 22 April 2006, he was shot at by his brother Pravin Mahajan. The reason for the attack was a family dispute
7) Beant Singh
On 31st August 1995, the Chief Minister of Punjab, Beant Singh was killed in a car bombing in Chandigarh.
8) Mahendra Karma
He was a powerful member of the Indian National Congress (INC) in Chhattisgarh, an adivasi leader and a member of Communist Party of India (CPI). He was shot dead by the Maoists.
9) Pratap Singh Kairon
Known as the architect of post-independence Punjab, the then chief minister of Punjab was killed when he was on his way back to Amritsar from Delhi on 6th January 1965.
10) T.P. Chandrasekaran
He was the leader of a breakaway group of CPIM, who became a name of national prominence after his death. While he was riding his motorcycle, he was attacked by 4 assailants in a car. After he fell down, he was brutally hacked on his face with sharp weapons. His body was found in a pool of blood and he had 51 antemortem injuries.