Amritsar: Two assassins of prime minister Indira Gandhi were yesterday honoured by a senior Sikh clergyman to mark the 24th anniversary of their hanging. The head of Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh religion, honoured the kin of the assassins at the Golden Temple complex here.
Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh were hanged 24 years ago for gunning down Gandhi at her official residence, an event that led to large-scale anti-Sikh violence in parts of India.
While Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, who were in the security ring of Indira Gandhi, shot her down from close range on October 31, 1984, Kehar Singh was linked to the murder conspiracy. Beant Singh was shot dead by Gandhi’s security guards on the spot.
Indira Gandhi was assassinated for ordering the army into the Golden Temple complex in June 1984 to flush out heavily armed militants led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
The Akal Takht head, Gurbachan Singh, presented a siropa (robe of honour) to Tirlok Singh, father of Satwant Singh, at a function. Radical group Dal Khalsa leader Kanwarpal Singh said the Akal Takht chief accorded them the status of ‘martyrs of faith’.
Top leaders of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, which manages the Golden Temple and other major gurdwaras across Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, were not present.