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File destroy finger at Modi
- Glare on Gandhi papers

Mahatma Gandhi

New Delhi, July 9: Opposition parties today demanded that Narendra Modi reply to allegations that the home ministry destroyed nearly 1.5 lakh files, including one on discussions by the cabinet just after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, under the Prime Minister’s “directions”.

CPM leader P. Rajeeve, who raised the issue during zero hour in the Rajya Sabha, cited media reports to wonder if the government’s action was intended to “hide the role of Hindutva forces behind the assassination of Gandhi”.

The government rubbished the reports. “This whole allegation against the Prime Minister is completely wrong. I deny it completely and emphatically,” law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

Rajeeve said the cabinet had met after the Mahatma was shot dead and the meeting had discussed all aspects of the assassination.

“As per the directions of the Prime Minister, it is reported that the ministry of home affairs has destroyed these important historical documents,” he said.

He asked why the Prime Minister, who assumed charge barely six weeks ago, was in a hurry to order the destruction of such documents and alleged that the government was trying to rewrite the country’s history.

“They want to destroy the evidence of the role of some Hindutva forces behind the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi,” he said.

Members of other parties — not satisfied with the law minister’s response — also joined in, demanding that the Prime Minister make a statement on the allegation.

Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav said the past held lessons for the future, hence documents should be preserved.

“You cannot scrap history. The country has not given you the mandate for destroying history,” Yadav said.

Congress leader Saifuddin Soz and the Trinamul Congress’s Sukhendu Sekhar Roy demanded that the Prime Minister make a statement.

Deputy chairman P.J. Kurien said the matter should be put to rest as the government had replied.

“In zero hour, allegations are not to be raised. But P. Rajeeve raised this issue and government has reacted. The chapter is over now,” Kurien said.