Unholy Terror by Ian Mulgrew

Unholy Terror: The Sikhs and International Terrorism

Key Porter Books (Canada) 1986

It was shortly after nine o’clock on a sunny Wednesday morning when the murder that changed the face of Indian politics occurred. The sixty-seven-year-old, gray haired woman stepped out of a side door into the lush garden that surrounded her sprawling white bungalow. The air was crisp, and scented by a profusion of blooming roses. One of her security guards, Narain Singh, opened a parasol over her head to block the fierce glare of the early-winter sun. The shrubbery cast mottled shadows and her bright saffron-colored sari brushed the cement walk as she strode through the garden.

    At the white-and-red wicket gate in the hedge that separated the offices from Indira Gandhi’s home, a twenty-eight-year-old sub-inspector of police stood at attention. Beant Singh had served as a guard of the prime minister for six years. Instead of salutin, he drew his .35 caliber, standard-issue revolver and fired. His partner, Constable Satwant Singh, who was stationed on the other side of the hedge, came through the gate and emptied his Thompson automatic carbine into the crumpled figure on the ground. Narain Singh dove for cover, dropping the umbrella he carried. Another guard fell, wounded in the thigh. The aging matriarch’s valet and secretary, who were trailing behind in her entourage, scattered as the bullets ricocheted off the pavement.