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Unanswered Questions Surrounding Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Death

Several years after the untimely death of former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri, many questions remain unanswered.

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At a time when the world thought that India would be devastated following a war with China and will not be able to face Pakistan, it was Lal Bahadur Shastri who gave a befitting reply to the neighbour.

He was India’s prime minister during the 1965 (April-September) India-Pakistan war. The war was resolved on 10 January 1966, after both countries signed the Tashkent declaration. Shastri died the following day.

And though he died on 11 January 1966, the mystery and suspense surrounding his death still looms large over the nation.
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In Journalist Kuldip Nair’s book 'Beyond the lines', he sheds a light on what transpired the night Shastri died.

“Don’t know why but I had a feeling about Shastri’s death. I had a dream about his death when someone knocked my door. I abruptly woke to open the door and a woman told me that ‘Your PM is dying.’”
Beyond The Lines, a book by Kuldip Nayar 
“Shastriji’s room was a big one. He was lying dead on a big bed. His slippers were lying on a carpet next to his bed. He didn’t wear them. A thermos was lying on a dressing table in one corner of the room. It looked like Shastriji had tried to open it. There was no bell in the room.”
Beyond The Lines, a book by Kuldip Nayar

It was later announced that Shastri died of a heart attack, but several questions were raised – Why was there no bell or phone in the room? Why were all his belongings returned except for the thermos?

No postmortem was done in Tashkent or in Delhi either.

Shastri’s wife, Lalita Shastri, and his grandsons repeatedly questioned why his body had turned blue and there were marks on his forehead. They are even suspicious of the fact that a different cook had cooked his food that night.

Several years after his death, many of these questions still remain unanswered.

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