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Photo  

The Gun, a 9mm Beretta Automatic

Sr. No. 606824, The pistol an automatic 9mm Beretta in excellent working order was the perfect weapon for the murder. It had almost travelled an improbable route halfway across the world to reach Birla Bhavan on 30th January 1948. Manufactured in Italy in 1934, it had been taken to Abyssinia by one of Mussolini's officers. It was taken as a war trophy from him by an officer of the 4th Gwalior Infantry, the force that accepted the surrender of the Italians in Abyssinia. It is rumoured that the Pistol reached Gwalior with the Commanding Officer of the battalion, Lieutenant- Colonel V. V. Joshi, however this is not substantiated. It is believed that the revolver changed many hands in Gwalior till it finally came in possession of Jagdishprasad Goel who sold it to Dandavate who finally delivered it to Nathuram Godse.

On 30th January 1948 at 5.15 p.m., the Beretta was fired for the last time by the hands of Nathuram Vinayak Godse. Three 9mm bullets hit the Mahatma from a distance of 1 1/2 feet, two of the projectiles pierced the frail 79 year old body and one was lodged in his chest.

The Beretta from Italy had snuffed out the life of the Father of the Nation.

-Tushar A. Gandhi.