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US felt threat of Indira Gandhi’s assassination rose in Emergency

Last Updated: Friday, April 12, 2013 - 18:39

New Delhi: The US had predicted an increased threat of assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay during Emergency, according to an American diplomatic cable released by the Wikileaks.
The cable from the US embassy here to State Department in Washington in February 1976 commented on the political and economic situation prevalent during that period.

"The bureaucracy and security forces might become progressively demoralised and vulnerable to infiltration. The threat of assassination of Mrs (Indira) Gandhi or her son Sanjay, might increase," said the cable which was sent a year after Gandhi imposed Emergency.

Observing that, "the level of violent resistance against emergency had been insignificant", the cable claimed that, "there might be labour unrest in areas like Bombay-Thane industrial belt where 10 million (people) reside."

It said that the "bleak outlook for peaceful resistance to the Prime Minister (Gandhi) may encourage those within the opposition favouring more violent confrontation."

The cable also mentioned the possibility on an impact of a weakening economy on Gandhi`s position.

"...The economy is bound to take a turn for the worse after the next bad Monsoon, thus weakening her position. This could be exacerbated by acts of sabotage against railway lines and economic installations," it said.

The cables also talked about the possibility of misuse of government`s investigative arms and people loyal to Gandhi filling the top positions in her government.

"Government investigative arms (Income Tax, Customs etc) can be used to intimidate opponents. Her patronage resources are now enormous. Persons loyal to the Prime Minister fill the top positions in the country`s paramilitary and intelligence establishments," it said.


First Published: Friday, April 12, 2013 - 18:39

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