Indira Gandhi killers get pride of place in New Zealand's largest Sikh gurudwara

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Manukau (New Zealand), Feb.13 (ANI): The three men who assassinated former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi inside her official residence on October 31, 1984, are being hailed as heroes in New Zealand's largest Sikh temple.

A Weekend Herald inquiry has found images of the trio --- Bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh and co-conspirator Kehar Singh being honored as martyrs in the Sikh gurdwara in Manukau.

Beant and Satwant Singh pumped more than 30 bullets into the then Indian Prime Minister, as she was walking towards her office next door for a television interview.

The pair was subsequently killed by gunfire, while co-conspirator Kehar Singh was sentenced to death.

Titled "Shaheed Bhai" - or martyr brother - the paintings of the three men hang on the walls in the Takanini temple alongside others who have been killed for their Sikh beliefs.

The pictures are also on the walls of the Otahuhu gurdwara.

The pictures have divided the Sikh community in Auckland - and upset others in the Indian community.

But few were willing to speak publicly on the matter.

A spokesman for the Indian High Commissioner Sureesh Mehta said he was unavailable for comment but confirmed the issue was "sensitive". (ANI)

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