Former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a bomb explosion in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, 40 km from Chennai on May 21, 1991. The blast occurred at 10:20 pm as Rajiv Gandhi got down from his car to address a public meeting. The explosion ripped off a major portion of Gandhi’s head. His body was lying in a pool of blood along with several other unidentified bodies. At the time of the explosion, Gandhi was greeting his partymen and admirers.
Gandhi was the AICC (All India Congress Committee) president who took over as Prime Minister of the country after his mother Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984. In the 1989 Lok Sabha polls, he was pushed out of power. At the time of the incident, he was undertaking a country-wide campaign to bring his party back to power.
On the occasion of Rajiv Gandhi’s 28th death anniversary, here’s a look at his pictures from the FPJ Archives.
Mother and Son
- Both met with the same fate.
- Rajiv Gandhi standing near the painting of Mahatma Gandhi at the Indian High Commission in London.
- Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia at a luncheon in the then Madras (now Chennai) when he visited Tamil Nadu in 1989.
- Conferring with former American President Ronald Reagan in New York when Rajiv Gandhi visited the United States in 1985.
- Waving to the public on the roads of Raxaul in Bihar in 1990.
- Signing the nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections in Amethi.
- On May 22, 1991, Sonia Gandhi grieving beside the tri-colour covered body of her husband Rajiv Gandhi at Teen Murti House in Delhi.
- Following Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, Congress activist stops a car at Dadar by deflating its tyres during the bandh, as a police inspector looks on.
- As all local trains were cancelled people wait on the railway platform. In picture: Dadar platform.
- At Mumbai Central (then Bombay Central) an old lady along with her grandson stands before a garlanded cut-out of Rajiv Gandhi.
(Compiled by Sonali Pimputkar)