Statement on the Assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India

October 31, 1984

I want to express my shock, revulsion, and grief over the brutal assassination earlier today of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of the Republic of India. The people of the United States join me in extending our deepest sympathy and condolences to the people of India and the Prime Minister's family as they mourn Mrs. Gandhi's death.

As Prime Minister of the world's largest democracy and Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, Mrs. Gandhi was a source of global leadership. Her determined efforts to promote peace, security, and economic development in South Asia and throughout the world will serve as a constant reminder of Mrs. Gandhi's commitment to protect the shared values of democratic nations.

The Prime Minister and I had personal correspondence recently regarding the scourge of terrorism. We agreed upon the necessity for freedom-loving states to strengthen our cooperation to stamp out this menace to humanity. Her senseless murder serves as a vivid reminder of the terrorist threat we all confront. We must therefore renew our determination to overcome this threat and ensure that Prime Minister Gandhi's accomplishments and memory will serve as an inspiration for humanity.

Note: Prime Minister Gandhi was shot outside her home by two members of her security guard and died a short time later in the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences. The shooting occurred at 10:40 p.m., e.s.t., on October 30.

On October 31 the President went to the Indian Embassy, where he signed the book of condolence and spoke with the Indian Ambassador to the United States, Kayatyani Shankar Bajpai. On the same day, the White House announced that Secretary of State George P. Shultz would represent the United States at the funeral services for Mrs. Gandhi.