Beant Singh (chief minister)

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Beant Singh
Beant Singh
12th Chief Minister of Punjab
In office
Preceded by President's Rule
Succeeded by Harcharan Singh Brar
Personal details
Born (1922-02-19)February 19, 1922
Patiala, Punjab
Died August 31, 1995(1995-08-31) (aged 73)
Chandigarh, Punjab
Political party Congress
Spouse(s) Jaswant Kaur
Children Tej Parkash Singh
Gurkanwal Kaur
Alma mater Government College University, Lahore

Beant Singh (19 February 1922 - 31 August 1995) was an Indian politician and the Chief Minister of Punjab from 1992 to 1995. He was a member of Indian National Congress. He was killed in a car bombing,[1] in retaliation for the alleged human rights violations during the anti-insurgency operations in Punjab,[2] a genocidal operation in which tens of thousands of Sikhs, particularly young men, were killed extra judiciously by the Punjab Police.[citation needed]

Early life

Beant was born in undivided Punjab and later migrated to the Bilaspur village in the Doraha tehsil of the Ludhiana district. Thereafter he shifted to village Kotli in the same district. He completed his education from the Government College Lahore. At the age of 23, he joined the army but after two years of service, decided to make a switch to politics and social work.[citation needed]

Political career

After the 1947 partition, Beant Singh entered the Punjab politics. In 1960 he was elected chairman of block samiti (committee) of Doraha, in Ludhiana district. After serving for some time as Director of the Central cooperative bank in Ludhiana, Beant Singh entered the Punjab Vidhan Sabha (assembly) as an independent candidate in 1969.[citation needed]

Beant Singh became the chief minister of Punjab in 1992. Beant Singh's tenure as the chief minister witnessed the Punjab insurgency. Under him, the Punjab Police crushed the pro-Khalistan militants forcefully, inviting claims of human rights violations.[2]

Many reports state an estimated number of over 25,000 people were abducted and killed under impressions of fake encounters which some say was to please the government in Delhi.


Beant Singh was assassinated in a bomb blast at the secretariat complex in Chandigarh on August 31, 1995. The blast claimed the lives of 17 others including 3 Indian commandos. Beant Singh was accompanied by his close friend Ranjodh Singh Mann on the day of assassination.[3] Dilawar Singh Jaisinghvala of Babbar Khalsa International acted as the suicide bomber; later, the backup bomber Balwant Singh Rajoana was also convicted for the killing.[4][5]

In 2012, a Chandigarh court sentenced Balwant Singh to death. A number of Sikhs protested against the decision, and campaigned to stop the execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana. On 28 March 2012 the Government Of India stayed the execution of Rajoana after Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal met President Pratibha Patil seeking clemency for him.[6]

Personal life

His son Tej Parkash Singh was minister in the Punjab government led by Harcharan Singh Brar who succeeded him. His daughter Gurkanwal Kaur is a former minister of state for social welfare and Parliamentary secretary in the Amarinder Singh government. His grandson Ravneet Singh is an MP from Ludhiana. Another grandson, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, is an MLA from Khanna.[7][8] His wife died in 2010.[9]



  • (1995). "Beant Singh." The Times. September 4.
  • Burns, John (1995). "New Violence in India." New York Times. September 1.
  • Dahlberg, John-Thor (1995). "Punjabi Minister Killed by Car Bomb in India." Los Angeles Times. September 1.
  • Tully, Mark (1995). "Beant Singh; Claws of the Lion." The Guardian. September 4.