On April 6, Shiromani Akali Dal’s leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa announced on his Facebook account that his party is fielding Charanjeet Singh, son of Kehar Singh, from the Greater Kailash area for upcoming Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections. Notably, Kehar Singh was tried and executed for conspiracy in the plot of the Indira Gandhi assassination. Beant Singh, one of the assailants who killed Gandhi, was married to the niece of Kehar Singh.
In his post, Sirsa wrote, “We are proud to announce S. Charanjeet Singh, son of Shahid Bhai Kehar Singh Ji, as Shiromani Akali Dal candidate. Courage and Integrity runs in his blood. He is fighting from the Greater Kailash area and seeks your blessings to be a part of DSGMC. I humbly request you to support him; show your support in comments.”
The story of Kehar Singh
On October 31, 1984, then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by Beant Singh and Satwant Singh. They killed Gandhi to take revenge for Operation Blue Star, an army operation in which several Khalistanis were killed, including their leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Operation Blue Star was not an end to the insurgency in Punjab. It took several years for the security forces to wipe out the anti-India forces from Punjab.
Kehar Singh took Beant Singh to Golden Temple to take the oath to kill Gandhi
According to a report published in The Register-Guard on February 12, 1985, Kehar Singh, uncle of Beant Singh’s wife, took him to Golden Temple to take an oath to kill Gandhi. The primary evidence against Kehar Singh, who was an assistant in the Directorate General of Supply and Disposal, New Delhi, was Beant Singh’s wife’s testimony.
Beant Singh’s wife, Bimal Kaur Khalsa, in her testimony against Kehar, said that on October 17, 1984, Beant Singh and Kehar Singh conspired to kill Gandhi on the roof of their house. Satwant Singh also joined them on the same evening for meals. On October 20, 1984, Beant Singh and Kehar Singh, along with their families, went to Amritsar. During the visit, Beant Singh took the oath to kill then-PM Gandhi.
It was mentioned in a Supreme Court Judgement that Kehar Singh started visiting Beant Singh’s house more often after `Operation Bluestar’. Both had talked about the destruction of the Akal Takht in the Golden Temple complex on two or three occasions but became silent when Bimal came.
Kehar was a religious fanatic
The court noted that Singh was a religious fanatic. He had intense hate against Gandhi for damaging Akal Takht in Golden Temple during Operation Blue Star. Being a family member, he influenced Beant Singh. “He converted Beant Singh and through him Satwant Singh to religious bigotry. He made them to undergo “Amrit Chakhan Ceremony” on October 14 and 24, 1984, respectively, at Gurdwara, R.K. Puram, New Delhi. He also took Beant Singh to Golden Temple. Amritsar on October 20, 1984. Gold `Kara’ and `ring’ of Beant Singh were later recovered from him,” the judgement added.
In the judgement, it was mentioned that Kehar Singh and Beant Singh kept themselves away from their families during the trip to Amritsar. “The attempt of these two persons to keep themselves away from the company of their wives and children speaks volume about their sinister designs,” it added. The court also noted that they wanted to keep their plan to kill Gandhi a secret from Beant Singh’s wife.
Kehar blamed Gandhi’s death on her confrontation with the ‘Panth’
On learning about Gandhi’s death, Kehar said, “whosoever would take confrontation with the Panth, he would meet the same fate.” The court believed that such incidents indicated Kehar Singh was a co-conspirator to the assassination of then-PM Gandhi.
After investigation, the charge sheet was filed against Satwant Singh, Balbir Singh and Kehar Singh. They were accused of offences under Sections 120-B, 109, 302 of the IPC and also of substantive offences under Sections 302 and 307 of the IPC and Sections 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act.
Kehar Singh was hanged to death on January 6, 1989.