WHO KILLED MAHATMA GANDHI?
Supreme Court appoints amicus curiae to consider fresh probe into Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination
Was WWII secret British Unit involved in Mahatma Gandhi murder plot?
5 October 2017
BHOPAL: On Mahatma Gandhi's 148th birth anniversary, conspiracy theorists are digging up 'unsolved mysteries' of the assassination - which pistol was used to kill him, how many shots were really fired, was there a second shooter?
The weapon riddle leads to Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh. TOI has copies of a 1948 police document, which show that Dr Dattatraya Parchure of Gwalior - who allegedly provided the Beretta with which Godse fired three shots at the Mahatma - owned a second Beretta whose registration number 719791 was strangely the same as a pistol owned by another Gwalior resident, Uday Chand, at the same time.
The pistol with which Gandhi was shot has the registration number 606824. While Dr Parchure had given this one to Godse, he had refused to give him the second Berretta. Both pistols were seized in the aftermath of the assassination - one from the scene of the shooting and the other from Dr Parchure's home.
TOI has a copy of a document, signed by superintendent of police of the erstwhile Gwalior State on February 15, 1948, showing Dr Parchure and Uday Chand holding pistols with the same serial number. The note bases its data on records of May 2, 1947.
TOI approached Dr Parchure's son Upendra, who practices homeopathy in Gwalior, and his grandson Meghdoot for their opinion, but they refused to speak.
Now, a self-confessed Veer Savarkar devotee, Dr Pankaj Phadnis - founder of a modern-day 'Abhinav Bharat' - has filed a PIL in Supreme Court, questioning the belief that three bullets were fired at the Mahatma. He insists four shots were fired and it is the fourth bullet that took his life. An earlier petition of Phadnis seeking reopening of the case was dismissed by a high court earlier, but he is undeterred.
Demanding a fresh probe into Mahatma Gandhi's assassination, he claims that "most newspapers throughout the world" reported that four bullets were fired at Gandhiji and that the "fourth bullet has remained a mystery all along". Phadnis cites an excerpt from Manuben's diary: "Almost 1 'o' clock Bapu was brought inside to bath while taking him to bathroom, all started to cry. Bapu's dhoti, shawl, handkerchief was completely covered with blood from clothes one bullet came out." Manuben, Gandhi's grandniece, was beside him during the assassination.
Phadnis wants to know where this "mystery bullet" came from and who fired it. His petition will be heard on October 6.
There is more to the bullet riddle, and the trail again leads to Gwalior. The petition to reopen the Gandhi assassination case encloses a letter, dated May 6, 1948, from the then IG-police of Delhi province to the director scientific laboratory, East Punjab CID. The IG wants to know if a bullet found in Gwalior matches any of the Berettas seized after the murder. This bullet is alleged to have been fired by the conspirators during a dry run of the assassination.
The laboratory replied that the bullet could not have been fired from the pistol recovered from Godse. TOI has copies of these letters. The question is why did the police feel the need to check out the other Beretta?
Phadnis has also questions why Herbert 'Tom' Reiner, a vice-consul attached to the US embassy, who was the first to nab and disarm Godse, was not made a witness in the case. He wants to know if Gandhi's killing had anything to do with his proposed visit to Pakistan in February 1948, which Pakistan Governor General Jinnah had agreed to.
TOI had on January 1, 2012, published a report on how the trail of ownership of the Beretta pistol used to kill Mahatma Gandhi reached Gwalior but the investigations stopped inconclusive. The pistol had changed many hands in Gwalior till it finally came in possession of Jagdish Prasad Goel, who passed it on to Gangadhar Dandavate who finally handed it to Nathuram Godse. Two of the nine persons charged in the murder plot were executed. The investigation however, remained silent on why trail of the weapon's ownership was never pursued.