A common space for harmonic peacemakers
by P Naveen, The Times of India | Oct 2, 2012
BHOPAL: The investigation into the murder of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi is still inconclusive for many including the close kin of the convicts of the plot. Almost 64 years after his assassination, mystery still shrouds the ownership of Italian pistol used to kill the Mahatma and its Gwalior connection.
The kin of the convicts feel, unless the mystery is solved the investigation cannot be considered complete.
It is believed that the pistol changed many hands in Gwalior till it finally came in possession of Jagdish Prasad Goel who passed it on to Gangadhar Dandavate who finally delivered it to Nathuram Godse."Question regarding ownership of the pistol was in my mind for years. Every time I posed this question before my father (Gopal Godse) he remained mum," says Himani Sawarkar, niece of Nathuram Godse. "Almost all the people involved are dead, and those who know it, are not ready to reveal", she lamented.
Two of the nine persons charged in the murder plot were executed, some of them convicted and the remaining released.
The investigation however, remained silent on why trail of the weapon's ownership was never pursued.Chargesheet into the Gandhi murder case reads, "Godse reached Gwalior by train on January 28 and secured the pistol (Beretta M1934 semi-automatic pistol in .380 ACP caliber, serial number 606824) - with the help of Gwalior based Dr Dattatraya S Parchure, Gangadhar Dandvate, Gangadhar Jadhao, and Suryadeo Sharma".
Dr Parchure, a resident of Gwalior's Shinde ki Chawni area was detained on February 3, 1948 and formally arrested for conspiracy two weeks later. On February 18, he confessed to his role in the murder during trial before First Class Magistrate (Gwalior) R B Atal, but later retracted citing it as 'forcefully extracted'. Investigators claimed, Godse obtained the pistol from Gwalior through Dr Parchure who got it from Dandavate. During course of trial Dandavate said that he had bought the pistol from a person named - Jagdish Prasad Goel who admitted to have sold the pistol to Dandvate. But Goel never explained how he himself got it."I am surprised why the last person in the chain of weapon's ownership was not chased. This could have exposed some conspiracy behind the assassination," said a IPS officer wishing anonymity.
Talking to TOI, Dandavate's son Chandrasekhar (58) says, "It's a secret that has been secured for last many years. Revealing it now might cause political turmoil...I don't want more trouble at this age". Chandrasekhar works in a private school at Gwalior. Manohar Malgonkar, mentioned in his book titled 'The men who killed Gandhi', "It is possible that Goel, by refusing to mention the name of the person who had sold it to him, was shielding him from trouble. Godse was hanged at Ambala jail on November 15, 1949. Since then Gwalior Hindu Mahasabha observes Nov 15 as Godse's "martyrdom day".
"The pistol's ownership was a secret and will remain a secret ... only fact I can tell you is that Goel was not the last person in chain," said Dr Jaiveer Bharadwaj, the national vice president of Hindu Mahasabha.
CELEBRATING 143RD BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF MAHATMA GANDHI AND INTERNATIONAL NON-VIOLENCE DAY
I think will never know what exactly happened.
Let's our hearts be inpsired by the depth and Love in our hearts.
Love and Peace for all Beings.