His body was accompanied by Kosygin, the then Chief of USSR.
Serious doubts were raised about the manner of Lal Bahadur Shastri’s death.
He was reported to have gone for Dinner and on return to his room complained of chest pain and died.
The body contained dark bluish marks around the abdomen.
After the 1965 war with Pakistan, Shastri had gone to Tashkent, in the erstwhile USSR, to meet the then Pakistan President Mohammad Ayub Khan..
On January 11, 1966, a day after signing Tashkent declaration, he died under mysterious circumstances. His family had alleged foul play and demanded a post-mortem to know the causes of his death but it was not conducted.
There reports of post-mortem having been conducted by by Shastri’s personal physician, Dr. R. N. Chugh, Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Personal Physician and a team of doctors from Russia in Tashkent, this was by the Government of India in 2009.
Later the same government declared that no post mortem was conducted. when confronted with a series of representations made by, including Ms Lalitha , widow of Lal Bahadur Shastri, Shastri’s son, and a host of others through the Right to Information Act.
In one instance the information said there were no files on this and on another the information was classified and could not be made Public as it would affect the Foreign Relations. ‘
Another intriguing fact was that the enquiry in India was entrusted with the Delhi local Police, for a PMs’ suspected death!
Lal Bahadur’s son was accommodated in the Cabinet later.
“Kuldip Nayar’s bookBeyond the Lines in which the veteran journalist reminisces about many figures from the past. When he comes to Lal Bahadur Shastri, he has posed the question—was Shastri poisoned? As his media advisor, Nayar was with Shastri in Tashkent when the country’s second premier died suddenly in a Russian dacha on January 11, 1966. On his return to India, Nayar recalls, he was confronted by Shastri’s wife Lalitha who was troubled by the fact that the body was blue and inquired about “certain cuts” on his body. She also pointed out that no post-mortem had been done either in Russia or in India…
Ram Nath gave Shastri milk, which he used to drink before retiring at night. The prime minister once again began pacing up and down and later asked for water, which Ram Nath gave from the thermos flask on the dressing table. (He told me that he had closed the flask.) It was a little before midnight when Shastri told Ram Nath to retire to his room and get some sleep because he had to get up early to leave for Kabul. Ram Nath offered to sleep on the floor in Shastri’s room but Shastri told him to go to his own room upstairs. The assistants were packing the luggage at 1.20 am (Tashkent time), Jagan Nath recalled, when they suddenly saw Shastri at the door. With great difficulty Shastri asked: “Where is doctor sahib?” It was in the sitting room that a racking cough convulsed Shastri, and his personal assistants helped him to bed. Jagan Nath gave him water and remarked: “Babuji, now you will be all right.” Shastri only touched his chest and then became unconscious. (When Lalita Shastri was told by Jagan Nath in Delhi that he had given him water, she said: “You are a very lucky person because you gave him his last cup of water.”)