January 30, 2021, marks 73 years since father of the nation Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu extremist. Even to this day, certain mysteries about the assassination remain unsolved, including the trail of ownership of the pistol used by Nathuram Godse. So who owned the pistol that was used in one of the world's most high-profile assassination.
Over the years, there have been many theories as to trace the ownership of the pistol used by Godse. But there hasn't been a concrete trail to show how the firearm, a Beretta 1934 .38 Caliber Pistol, ended up in the hands of Godse.
Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948, in the compound of Birla House in New Delhi a little after 5 p.m. as per witnesses. As Gandhi was on his way to conduct multi-faith prayer meeting, Godse appeared from the crowd in front of Gandhi and fired three bullets into Bapu's chest and abdomen at point-blank range. Gandhi fell to the ground, and everyone around were stunned at what had happened for a few seconds.
While the horrors of Gandhi's assassination have recounted many times over the years, it is the mystery of how the Baretta ended up in the hands of Godse. Here's what we gather.
Trail of pistol used to kill Gandhi
The semi-automatic Beretta 1934 pistol was first carried by an Italian office in 1938. The pistol is believed to have changed many hands before reaching Jagdish Prasad Goel who then gave it to Gangadhar Dandvate. The pistol was then passed on to Godse. But with the exchange of hands, the trail of the pistol's ownership faded away and never found place in the history books.
The pistol has also earned mention in several books. One book in particular by Manohar Malgaonkar, the author writes the pistol travelled from Ethiopia to Gwalior infantry.
The chargesheet mentioned that Godse reached Gwalior by train, where he obtained the pistol with the help of Dr Dattatraya Parchure, Gangdhar Dandvate, Gangadhar Jadhao and Suryadeo Sharma. Dr Parchure was detained and later released by the police and the trail of the pistol was never investigated. There were 9 accused of conspiring to kill Gandhi and two of them were hanged, while others were jailed or freed. Even those who lived, never spoke about the mystery of the pistol's ownership.
"The pistol's ownership was a secret and will remain a secret," said Dr Jaiveer Bharadwaj, the national vice president of Hindu Mahasabha.