- Operation Bluestar was an Indian military operation carried out between 1 and 8 June 1984, ordered by Indira Gandhi to remove leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed followers from the buildings of the Harmandir Sahib complex in Amritsar.
- Indira Gandhi was unpopular among Sikhs due to her role in the operation, which had damaged portions of the Akal Takht and caused casualties.
- The alleged destruction of Sikh scriptures and manuscripts in the temple library that caught fire due to explosives used during the operation.
- Accordingly, Sikhs were removed from her personal bodyguard by the Intelligence Bureau due to the fear of assassination. She ordered the Special Protection Group to reinstate her Sikh bodyguards, including Beant Singh who was reported to be her personal favorite
30 OCTOBER – 1984
- Indira Gandhi was reading out from a speech prepared by HY Sharada Prasad, her information adviser. Junking the written script for a few moments, Indira Gandhi spoke about the possibility of a violent end to her life.
- She said, I am here today, I may not be here tomorrow. Nobody knows how many attempts have been made to shoot me I do not care whether I live or die. I have lived a long life and I am proud that I spend the whole of my life in the service of my people.
- By night on October 30, Indira Gandhi was back in New Delhi. It had been a hectic day for her but somehow she could not sleep well that night.
- She had to shoot for English documentary maker Peter Alexander Ustinov, who was with her the previous day in Bhubaneswar. The first official appointment on October 31 had been made in the name of Peter Ustinov.
- Later in the day, Indira Gandhi was to meet James Callaghan, former prime minister of Britain. He was succeeded by Margaret Thatcher, who was the prime minister of Britain when Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984.
- In the evening, Indira Gandhi was to host a dinner for British princess Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II.
THE LAST WALK
- She was ready for the interview with Peter Ustinov by 7.30 in the morning. She had toasts, orange juice, eggs and some cereals for breakfast.
- She was wearing a saffron saree with a black border for the documentary shoot. She had applied make up for the shoot.
- Dr KP Mathur reached her residence at 1 Safdarjung Road after she had finished breakfast. Dr Mathur checked Indira Gandhi’s health every morning. Peter Ustinov was waiting for Indira Gandhi at the Prime Minister’s Office, then located at 1 Akbar Road adjacent to her residence.
THE LAST WALK
- At 9.10 am, Indira Gandhi left her residence for the PMO. She was walking down to 1 Akbar Road. Indira Gandhi was accompanied by constable Narayan Singh, personal security officer Rameshwar Dayal and personal secretary RK Dhawan.
- When Indira Gandhi reached the gates of 1 Akbar Road, she was in conversation with RK Dhawan, Narayan Singh was carrying a black umbrella to protect her from the early winter sun. Suddenly, one of her bodyguards, Beant Singh fired at her from his revolver. The bullet hit her in the abdomen. Beant Singh fired two more bullets into her chest.
- Another assailant, Satwant Singh was standing nearby holding his carbine when Beant Singh shouted at him to fire at Indira Gandhi. Satwant Singh soon emptied all 25 bullets, most of them piercing Indira Gandhi’s body. Rameshwar Dayal was also hit and fell.
THE LAST WALK
- RK Dhawan and a police officer, Dinesh Bhatt carried Indira Gandhi to her Ambassador car. Her political secretary Makhanlal Fotedar was also there.
- Indira Gandhi reached AIIMS at 9.32 am. It took some time before everything could be put in place and doctors began their procedure. Indira Gandhi had been shot more than 25 times but her heart was intact.
- Doctors tried for close to five hours and administered 80 bottles of blood before declaring Indira Gandhi dead at 2.23 pm. Information on Indira Gandhi’s death was withheld for hours before BBC Radio broke it.