In response to the assassination an estimated 2,700 Indian Sikhs were murdered during four days of rioting by supporters of the late PM with some estimates putting the number of dead even higher. Several diplomatic cables that have recently been leaked show that American intelligence agencies at the time believed the anti-Sikh violence was orchestrated by high level officials of the Indian government.
Gandhi's assassination was itself a response to her having ordered the Indian military to clear the so-called "Golden Temple" - Sikhdom's holiest shrine - of Sikh militants several months earlier. That operation resulted in the deaths of a large number of Sikh militants who were holed up inside and also resulted in extensive damage to the temple.
|The body of assassinated Indian PM Indira Gandhi lies in state. To the left is her son and future PM Rajiv.|