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Last Updated: Monday, 28 November 2005, 01:13 GMT
Mahatma Gandhi death plotter dies
By Sunita Nahar
BBC News, Calcutta

Gopal Godse
Gopal Godse conspired in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi
The last surviving member of a group of Hindu extremists that killed Mahatma Gandhi has died at his home in the west Indian state of Maharashtra.

Gopal Godse was 86. He never repented of his role in Gandhi's death - a crime for which he served 16 years in jail.

Mahatma Gandhi's peaceful campaign is widely credited with bringing about the end of British rule in India in 1947.

As a result of his pacifist philosophy, he went on to become one of the most revered men in modern history.

Gandhi, a frail man of 78, was killed on 30 January 1948.

He was on his way to the prayer grounds at his home in Delhi when a man stepped in front of him and shot him.

The man was Gopal Godse's brother, Nathuram.

They and several others masterminded the assassination, which at the time sent waves of revulsion through India.

'Betrayal'

Nathuram and another man were hanged for Gandhi's murder.

Gopal was spared. Even though he had tried to kill Gandhi, he froze and was unable to pull the trigger.

He served 16 years for his involvement but remained unrepentant right up to his death.

When interviewed by reporters, he said he did not regret what he and the others had done.

It was, he said, in the interests of the nation.

He said Gandhi had to die because he betrayed Hindus by backing the creation of Pakistan.

As far as Godse was concerned, Gandhi's calls for non-violence were part of a plot to allow Hindus to be slaughtered by Muslims.

Godse wanted an India free of Muslims and once again in control of Pakistan's territory.




SEE ALSO:
Politician ordered to read Gandhi
18 Sep 03 |  South Asia
Row over Hindu leader's portrait
26 Feb 03 |  South Asia
Gandhi death report online
13 Apr 00 |  South Asia


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