NEW DELHI, India— The conspiracy to kill Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was hatched at her official residence by some of her closest confidants, the lawyer for cone of her alleged assassins says,
Pran Nath Lekhi, the lawyer for Satwant Singh, said Gandhi’s assassination was not a result of the June 1984 army assault on the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the holiest shrine of the Sikh faith.
“Gandhi’s death was not because of Operation Blue Star,” he said Monday. “The star which brought her death operated within the constellation” that moved between her residence and her Congress (I) party headquarters.
Lekhi did not name the alleged mastermind behind the assassination, but previously he has accused Gandhi’s successor and son, Rajiv Gandhi, of plotting to murder her because of a family dispute.
A violent Sikh campaign for ‘greater autonomy in the Sikh dominated northern state of Punjab climaxed with the army’s assault on the Golden Temple.
Four months later, Mrs. Gandhi Was Panel donna he allegedly by Satwant Singh and Beant Singh. Both were Gandhi’s bodyguards. Beant Singh, who was shot dead moments after Mrs. Gandhi was slain, allegedly fired the first bullets into the Prime Minister.
The assassination triggered a violent Hindu backlash in which several thousand Sikhs were slaughtered in northern India.
Satwant Singh is accused of firing bullets that Killed the Prime Minister, Also being tried are Kehar Singh and Balbir Singh, both accused of inciting to murder.
All Sikhs take the name Singh, ‘which means “lion.”
Satwant Singh’s lawyer, who began final’ arguments Monday, charged the prosecution with creating a “fantasy” in its attempt to ‘convict his client.
If the prosecution wins, he said, “no neck is safe in India because it meant that anyone in India could be hanged for political murder as Tongas the prosecutor had a “good script writer and a set of forged documents”
‘Satwant Singh was denied the opportunity to defend himself when his application to call President Zail Singh, Rajiv Gandhi and Gandhi’s wife, Sonia, as defense with nesses was refused, the lawyer charged before a packed court. Earlier in the day, P.P. Grover representing the other two defendants, said in his arguments that no reliance could be placed on the prosecution’s evidence.
Article extracted from this publication >> January 3, 1986