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 Murder Attempts


 

The Third Attempt
Threat to life at Sevagram, Godse Involved.

September, 1944, Sevagram :

Mahatma Gandhi was preparing to hold talks with Mohammed Ali Jinha, the leader of the Muslim League, The Hindu Mahasabha was opposed to this, Nathuram Godse and L. G. Thatte openly campaigned against this and threatened to stop Gandhiji from meeting Jinha by any means publicly. The Mahatma began his talks with Jinha in Bombay on 9th September 1944, the talks lasted for 18 days.

The Mahatma travelled from Sevagram to Bombay for the talks. Godse and Thatte led a gang of men to stop Gandhi and were joined by some from Bengal. This gang picketed the Ashram to ensure that the Mahatma did not leave for Bombay. Dr. Sushila Nayyar testified at the Kapoor Commission Enquiry that Nathuram Godse was stopped and detained by Ashramites as he tried to reach the Mahatma and a dagger was found on his person. The police report of the assault also placed before the Kapoor Commission says that a Jambiya (Indian Curved half Sword) akin to the Machete was confiscated from one of the group consisting of Nathuram Godse, L. G. Thatte and other unnamed protestors arrested while trying to prevent the Mahatma leaving the Ashram. The police report says it wasn’t certain that they meant to harm the Mahatma but they were armed and determined to stop the Mahatma from meeting Jinha at any cost as evident from their recorded statements.

Pyarelal in his letter to Tej Bahadur Sapru says "The leader of the protestors at Sevagram, an extremely bitter and fanatical die-hard, was ready to go to any lengths to stop Gandhiji from meeting Jinha. The arresting officer who recovered the dagger from the leader of the band asked him mockingly, whether he wanted to become a martyr ? The Leader replied that when Gandhi was eventually killed one of them would become a martyr. The officer again asked him why they were wasting their time and lives in the fight between their leaders and Gandhi. If Gandhi was to be stopped why didn’t they leave it to Savarkar, their leader? The Leader of the Gang said " If Savarkar talks with Gandhi it will be an honour for Gandhi. The time will not come for Savarkar to talk to Gandhi. Gandhi will be dealt with by our lowly Orderly". Pyarelal said that the person indicated by the group leader was Nathuram Godse.

No clarification is given about the others in the gang this was the third time that members of the Hindu Mahasabha from Pune were involved in a untoward incident, Godse was actually named in two of them and in all likelihood the other unnamed persons were the same as the gang which finally succeeded in murdering the Mahatma.

- Tushar A. Gandhi.