Home Minister Rajnath Singh
Files relating to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination are intact, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Rajya Sabha on Friday.
Responding to the charge that the Ministry had destroyed 1.5 lakh old files, including ones related to 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 [CPI’s P. Rajeev],’’ he said in a suo motu statement made 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 Cabinet Secretary’s written instructions in this regard which said that, “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.’’
In accordance, the 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.
National Archives reports 52 files, 67 exhibits and 11,186 pages relating to Gandhi are safe even today, he added.
Quoting media reports, the matter was raised by Mr. Rajeev on Thursday. He 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.