Its been 52 years since the former Prime Minister of India Lal bahudur Shastri died mysteriously in Russia, but still the country awaits to know the real truth behind his death.
Although, the preliminary reports showed that he died of an heart attack, the government refusal to conduct postmortem, proper investigation and the death of his personal doctor on the same day he was going to testify about Shastri’s death, put a lot of speculations on the real cause of his death. Researcher Anuj Dhar who is working on Subasha Chandra Bose and Shastri’s death case had till now revealed many shocking details which were hid for a very long time. Now, his new book Your Prime Minister is Dead has thrown light on some of the incidents that happened on the night Shashtri ji died which also indicates that his death was not natural but a pre planned murder.
In his book, Dhar gives information on some of the questions asked to forensic experts and pathologists who had questioned his family members, personal assistants about the appearance of the skin colour of Shastriji on the day of his death and had compared with the colour as seen in pictures and the official report submitted by the investigating agencies.
According to family members, the skin colour of Shastriji was not normal and had alleged that the death may have been due to poisoning and embalming process was done in order to hide the real truth.
The book also describes about a note from Prof Soumya Chakraborty (MS Anatomy, FAIMER, US), who is HoD-Anatomy at ESI PGIMSR, Joka (Kolkata), made several observations like “Dark bluish discoloration of face and upper part of body: Bluish discoloration means reduced haemoglobin which further indicates either poisoning or asphyxia death leading to cyanosis and histotoxic anaemia”. Prof Chakraborty concluded that “poisoning cannot be ruled out. There is a probability of potential poisoning, but it cannot be established with the information provided.”
Dr Sayan Biswas, MD in Forensic Medicine Toxicology and a faculty member in NR Sircar Medical College in Kolkata, also also mentioned that poisoning cannot be ruled out. In case of sudden deaths and especially with the Prime Minister of the country, it is mandatory to perform autopsy or even second autopsy, but that was not done in case of Shastriji’s death. He also indicated that the quantity of embalming fluid used to preserve Shastri’s body was inadequate.
Dr Ajay Kumar Gupta, who served as HoD of Forensic Medicine at Calcutta Medical College and Calcutta National Medical College also opined the same that the skin colour had indicated chances of poisoning. In his statement he says “It may be a case of death due to some vegetable poison acting on the heart… it is not clear why the wife and sons of Shastriji did not personally go to the officer-in-charge of the local police station, and lodge a written request for holding a post-mortem examination.”
Anuj Dhar also records the statement of Dr Nirmalya Roychowdhury, a member of American Board of Internal Medicine, who gave the example of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died suddenly in November 2004, following a mysterious illness. “No post-mortem was done… In 2012, with the permission of his widow Suha, Arafat’s body was exhumed by the Palestinian authorities. A thorough forensic investigation was done. Study results almost proved beyond reasonable doubt that he was poisoned with Polonium 210,”
But with all such evidence and opinions, Shastriji’s body was never given to autopsy. His wife had gone on record to state that his body had a dark blue hue though he was dead only few hours before and they had noticed white patches on his face for which no explanation was given.
So, it is unfortunate that a honest Prime Minister who served the country with all sincerity hasn’t got justice even after 52 years after his death. The onus is now on the government to disclose all files related to Shastriji’s death which will reveal as to whether autopsy was conducted or not.