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Punjab Chief Minister Assassinated


Time, Aug. 31, 1995

Photo: Beant Singh

A powerful car bomb killed 11 people in northern India, including Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, outside government headquarters. New Delhi bureau chief Dick Thompson reports that the blast destroyed three vehicles, broke windows in nearby buildings, and ripped Singh and his guards' bodies. The murders are ironic: 'Singh and his police chief were widely credited with ending years of violence in Punjab. That success was shared by the man who engineered Singh's election, India's Prime Minister Rao. Now, Rao's anti-terrorism accomplishment seems to have been blown apart also.' Though no group has claimed responsibility for the bombing, Singh's election in 1992 was a blow to separatist Sikhs.