TV Zee5 Docudrama

Zee5’s docudrama “Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Death – An Unfinished Story” promises to expose some uncomfortable truths on the mysterious death of India’s second Prime Minister in Tashkent. (photo provided)

MUMBAI— The first docudrama wherein late and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s son Sunil Shastri and grandson Sidharth Nath Singh both speak about the 52-year-old mystery of his death premiered Aug. 15.

ZEE5, a leading digital entertainment platform for language content, has made this docudrama. It shows what exactly took place after the Tashkent declaration was signed in 1966, including the infamous truth of how our second Prime Minister died and how the last chapter to his life till date, remains a mystery.

The docudrama throws lights on some elements, such as the possible meeting with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, involvement of an external agency or that he was poisoned by someone from his own delegation, promising to expose some uncomfortable truths on his mysterious death in Tashkent.

ZEE5’s docudrama will see Shastri’s son Sunil Shastri and his grandson Sidharth Nath Singh take us through what happened that fateful night. The late Kuldip Nayar, a veteran Indian journalist and ex-High Commissioner of India to United Kingdom, also shares his view of how he suspects the involvement of T.N. Kaul, then foreign secretary, in Shastri's death.

Sunil Shastri, Shastri’s son, commented, “The first thing my grandmother said after looking at my father’s body was, ‘It’s surprising that a country’s Prime Minister is dead and nobody raised a question on it?’ There is still a big question mark on how Shastri died. When my father called from Tashkent, my family informed him that people here were very upset with his decision of signing the treaty. However, he had full faith that when he came back and explained, everybody would be very happy; but as fate had it, they never let him reach or speak to anyone!”

He added, “Cook Jan Mohammed was the prime suspect in my father’s death. He is believed to be the one who poisoned him. Strangely, he was hired just after the Tashkent declaration and was also the cook to Kaul, further fuelling our suspicions. 52 years after his death, the family lives in the hope that we will someday know the truth.”

Sidharth Nath Singh, Shastri’s grandson, said, “The fateful day when we get a call, my mother told me that the telephone operator started crying, saying that Shastri-ji is no more. When his body came to India, his face had blue marks. It was a clear indication of poison – till date, we do not have a death certificate, nor was there any post-mortem done.”

Is it a coincidence that Shastri, who was a heart patient, was not staying at the pre-decided place? The room he was put up in had no buzzer, and oddly, his house help’s and his doctor’s rooms were very far!

“It was almost like an unbelievable story, the Prime Minister of a country goes to sign a very important treaty and never comes back – all these things build up suspicion. The family and in fact India also wants that the last page in Shastri's life doesn’t remain a big cover up!” noted Singh.

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