New Delhi — Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was urged Tuesday to cancel his June visit to the United States following the disclosure by the FBI of an alleged plot to kill him and another Indian official.
Members of Parliament made the recommendations during a debate on the alleged scheme, which the FBI said also included plans to topple Gandhi’s government by bombing strategic locations around India, including a nuclear power plant.
India formally thanked Washington for uncovering the conspiracy.
India ‘‘expressed its appreciation for the prompt action taken by the U.S. government in unearthing a plot against this country and the prime minister,’ said a Foreign Ministry spokesman.
The FBI disclosed Monday it had arrested five Sikhs in New Orleans on charges of plotting to kill Gandhi during his U.S. visit. Two others were being sought.
Gandhi’s mother, the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was assassinated last October by two Sikh bodyguards in revenge for an army assault on the sect’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple of Amritsar. The operation was launched against extremists fighting for an independent Sikh state in the Punjab.
In addition to killing Gandhi, federal officials also said the men planned to murder Bhajan Lal, Chief Minister of the Indian state of Haryana, which borders Punjab and was once Sikh territory. He was in New Orleans for medical treatment.
In other developments, New Delhi police said children playing in a park found a bomb. Officers detonated the device in a trash can.
The incident followed a series of bombings in New Delhi and surrounding states last Friday and Saturday.
The causality toll from the blasts climbed to 77 Tuesday with the deaths of two people injured in explosions in Haryana.
Unrelated violence also rocked western Gujarat state and northern Kashmir, killing at least five people.
In the Gujarat capital of Ahmedabad, 500 miles southwest of New Delhi, troops shot and killed two people and two died in stabbings, officials said.
A total of 105 people have died in Gujarat in three months of violence sparked by government policies aimed at improving conditions for low caste Hindus.
Article extracted from this publication >> May 17, 1985