Quiz on assassinations

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on May 10, 2019 Published on May 10, 2019

On May 11, 1812, British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons. This week’s quiz is on assassinations.

They all fall down

1 Who was assassinated in October 1981 during a victory parade to commemorate his nation’s crossing of a famous waterway eight years earlier?

2 Which sitting member of Parliament was assassinated by Sher Singh Rana in New Delhi in 2001, ostensibly in reprisal for an incident that occurred 20 years earlier?

3A Case of Exploding Mangoes, published in 2008, is a critically acclaimed novel based on the assassination of which world leader?

4 In which specific way is the murder of a dissident Bulgarian writer in 1978 by the Bulgarian Secret Service, probably with the help of the KGB, referenced in a 2018 hit Hindi film?

5 638 Ways to Kill ______, a Channel 4 documentary broadcast in the UK in November 2006, tells the story of some of the numerous attempts of the CIA to assassinate a specific leader. Who was the leader who survived all the attempts?

6 Which person, who was present during Jawaharlal Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech, was assassinated when his boat, Shadow V, was booby-trapped with a 23-kg explosive device?

7 In the days where assassination was among the common ways of succession to power, the Roman Praetorian Guard was regarded as the one body that was always loyal to the Roman Emperor. In AD 41, who became the first Roman emperor to be murdered by his own Praetorian Guard, led by a certain Cassius Chaerea?

8 On May 13, 1981, who did a Turkish national named Mehmet Ali Agca attempt to assassinate? The person survived and actually visited Agca later in prison.

9The Death of _____, a 1793 painting by Jacques-Louis David of a murdered French leader, is regarded as one of the most famous images of the French Revolution. Either fill in the blank or describe where the murder was committed.

10 Fanny Kaplan’s unsuccessful attempt on the life of a political leader in 1918 was regarded as one of the reasons behind the restitution of the death penalty in her country after being abolished in October 1917. Who did she try to assassinate?


1 Anwar Sadat, Egyptian President, 11 others were also killed by the troops on parade who emptied their automatic rifles into the stands

2 Phoolan Devi, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Mirzapur

3 Zia ul-Haq, who died when his C-130 Hercules aircraft exploded in mid-air in August 1988

4Raazi. Georgi Markov was killed with a poisoned umbrella tip; Sehmat used the same ingenious method to kill Mehboob Syed in the film

5 Fidel Castro of Cuba. They include syringes inside pens, exploding cigars and infected scuba diving suits

6 Lord Mountbatten; the IRA claimed responsibility

7 Caligula; they were in turn massacred by the Germanic guard

8 Pope John Paul II; Agca was pardoned and deported to Turkey in 2000

9 Marat; it was the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat by Charlotte de Corday while he was in his bathtub

10 Vladimir Lenin


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster; Twitter: @joybhattacharj

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Published on May 10, 2019
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