Beant Singh (chief minister)

Beant Singh (chief minister)

Beant Singh (February 19, 1922 - August 31, 1995, Chandigarh) was an Indian Chief Minister of Punjab from 1992 to 1995. Singh was a secular Sikh and member of the Congress Party.

Born in the village of Bilaspur, Ludhiana, he later lived in Kotli. He attended the Government College University in Lahore and later joined the British Indian Army. He began his political career with Akali Dal, but was elected to the State Assembly in 1969 as an independent. During the 1970s he joined the Congress Party, and he remained in office even after 1977, when Indira Gandhi was voted out. When the Congress Party regained power in 1980, Singh was made a minister.

During the bloody years after Gandhi's assassination, Singh was the party president in the Punjab. When the government called elections in 1992, Akali Dal boycotted it; Singh was elected with fewer than a quarter of eligible votes. During his tenure, Singh himself ordered killings of innocent Sikhs in the ongoing Khalistan movement which resulted in deaths of largely government covered and planned huge amounts of innocent Sikhs. Despite that shaky start, Singh's tenure was in some respects successful. He helped restore agriculture and industry after the turmoil of the late 1980s; however, he did so by means of a ruthlessly enforced, often extrajudicial, discipline. Singh (and Rao's central government) argued that such means were necessary to control terrorism; however, at the time of Singh's death more than a hundred cases of police abuse were pending in the state courts. ["Singh" 1.]

He was assassinated by a car bomb on August 31, 1995 in Chandigarh. The bomb killed eleven other people, including three members of Singh's security detail. [Burns A7.] Separatist group Babbar Khalsa took responsibility for the assassination.



*(1995). "Beant Singh." "The Times". September 4.
*Burns, John (1995). "New Violence in India." "New York Times". September 1.
*Dahlberg, John-Thor (1995). "Punjabi Minister Killed by Car Bomb in India." "Los Angeles Times". September 1.
*Tully, Mark (1995). "Beant Singh; Claws of the Lion." "The Guardian". September 4.

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