New Delhi, India: The lawyer for two Sikhs on trial for the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi compared it Monday to the slaying of President John F. Kennedy, saying in both cases a key gunman was killed.

Defense attorney P. P. Grover also said that a foreign power was behind Gandhi’s murder last Oct. 31 and accused the Indian government of covering up the conspiracy, the Press Trust of India said. He did not identify the foreign power or specify how the government covered up the conspiracy.

The government is prosecuting three Sikhs for Indira Gandhi’s assassination, one for the actual murder Satwant Singh and two for conspiracy Kehar Singh and Balbir Singh. Singh is a name adopted by Sikh men and does not signify relatives.

Grover said his clients Kehar Singh and Balbir Singh were “scapegoats for the real conspirators.”

The lawyer made the statements during the trial of the three Sikhs, who were being held in New Delhi’s maximum security Tihar Jail with the accused seated in a bulletproof glass box. The trial began June 6.

Grover compared Gandhi’s assassination to the slaying of President Kennedy in 1963 because key gunmen were killed in both cases.

Beant Singh, one of two Sikh bodyguards who shot Gandhi at her New Delhi residence on Oct. 31, was gunned down by two security guards immediately after the killing.

“Kennedy’s alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, had in the same way been murdered in the basement of the Dallas police station by Jack Rudy,” Grover said, according to the news agency.

Ruby shot and killed Oswald after Oswald’s arrest. People who believe in a conspiracy theory have argued Ruby killed Oswald to prevent the assassin from revealing details of possible foreign involvement in Kennedy’s killing.

The other bodyguard allegedly involved in the Gandhi assassination, Satwant Singh, was seriously wounded by the security guards but survived to face trial.

Grover said Beant Singh was “murdered in cold blood” to prevent him from exposing other conspirators involved in Gandhi’s murder.

“(His) intention of attacking (Gandhi) and surrendering was to tell the real story, but he was silenced,” Grover said.

Grover said the conspiracy lay in the murder of Beant Singh. He said Beant Singh was “murdered in cold blood” and the prosecution should explain the circumstances of his death.

Balbir Singh was a sub inspector of police in Indira Gandhi’s security service.

Kehar Singh is the deceased Beant Singh’s uncle.

Article extracted from this publication >>  June 14, 1985