Files relating to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination are intact, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Responding to the charge that the Ministry had destroyed 1.5 lakh files, including the ones related to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, Mr. Singh said only 11,100 files were weeded out between June 5 and July 8, 2014 and none of them related to the Mahatma.
“I would like to inform the august House that none of the 11,100 files so destroyed relate to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. This is also to inform that none of the files so destroyed relate to either Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri or Lord Mountbatten as alleged by the honourable MP [Communist Party of India’s P. Rajeev],” he said in a suo motu statement in the House.
The Minister informed members that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his meeting with Secretaries on June 4, had talked about improving work culture and environment, including hygiene and cleanliness of the work space.
This was followed by the Cabinet Secretary’s written instructions in this regard which said, “Files and papers should be weeded out in accordance with the rules of record keeping. This exercise should be completed within 3 to 4 weeks.” Accordingly, files lying in different sections of the Ministry were reviewed and a total of 11,100 files were destroyed between June 5 and July 8, 2014, Mr. Singh said.
Fifty-two files and 67 sets of exhibits containing 11,186 pages relating to Mahatma Gandhi assassination are in safe custody of National Archives, he added.
Quoting media reports, Mr. Rajeev on Thursday charged that “destruction of files was a conspiracy by the government to whitewash the role of Hindutva elements in the assassination of Gandhi.”
The Minister will respond to clarifications on his statement on Monday.