Clear air on father's death: Lal Bahadur Shastri's son
Raising doubts about the dark blue spots and cut marks on the abdomen of his father's body after his death in 1966, Shastri's son Sunil asked, "When the postmortem was not conducted, then how the cut marks appeared?" "The government should clear all doubts about my father's death," he said at a club function here yesterday.
After Shastri's death in Tashkent, USSR, on Jan 11, 1966 soon after signing the Tashkent Pact with Pakistan, his wife Lalita had alleged he was poisoned. A query was later posed by Anuj Dhar, author of CIA's Eye on South Asia, under the Right to Information Act about his death but the government had refused to part with classified information on the issue.
The Prime Minister's Office, while refusing information under the RTI Act on the cause and circumstances of Shastri's death, had said, revealing these details could harm India's foreign relations and would violate Parliamentary Privilege. The government had admitted no postmortem was conducted on Shastri.
However, his personal doctor RN Chugh and some Russian doctors conducted a medical examination.
The Russian butler attending on Shastri at the time of his death was arrested for suspected poisoning but released later. It was maintained that Shastri had died of cardiac arrest but his family insisted he was poisoned.