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Thursday, 13 April, 2000, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Gandhi death report online
Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi was gunned down by a Hindu fanatic
An historic police report on the assassination of modern India's founding father, Mahatma Gandhi, has been published for the first time in cyberspace.

Mahatma Gandhi was killed at a prayer meeting in Delhi on 30 January, 1948, by a fellow Hindu, Nathuram Godse.

Kiran Bedi, one of India's most famous policewoman, released an English translation of the First Information Report (FIR) on the assassination.


The Mahatma was carried away in an unconscious state

Nand Lal Mehta's statement
The FIR - which is how a case is first registered by the police - was originally filed in Urdu by Nand Lal Mehta.

The website also has a scanned image of the original statement from Mr Mehta, described by police as "Indian, resident of Connaught Circus, Building Lala Suraj Prasad".

'Shot at point-blank range'

In his statement to the police - FIR number 68 - Mr Mehta said Gandhi had "barely covered six or seven steps" when Godse "stepped closer and fired three shots from a pistol at the Mahatma from barely 2/3 feet distance, which hit the Mahatma in his stomach and chest and blood started flowing".

"Mahatmaji fell backwards, uttering 'Raam - Raam'.


The historic FIR was written in Urdu
"The assailant was apprehended on the spot with the weapon. The Mahatma was carried away in an unconscious state towards the residential unit of the Birla House, where he passed away instantly and the police took away the assailant."

The report, which appears in the Feature section of the website - www.kiranbedi.com - came from the Tughlaq Road Police Station archive.

Kiran Bedi, India's highest-ranking policewoman, provides advice about FIRs on her website, which is aimed at making police work more accessible to the public.

She announced on Thursday that her website would contain information about day-to-day policing, covering areas such as narcotics, drug-related terrorism, dowry deaths and the Indian penal codes.

Fascination with Gandhi

More than 50 years after his death, Gandhi, whose name "mahatma" means "great soul," continues to provoke strong passions in India.

A recent film about Gandhi - called Hey Ram - has been criticised by Muslims and Hindus for its strong images of sectarian violence and its portrayal of Gandhi.

In July 1998 there were mass protests over a controversial play about Gandhi.

Detractors said the play, which examined Nathuram Godse's views, painted a favourable and heroic picture of the assassin.

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11 Apr 00 | South Asia
Gandhi film arouses passions
17 Jul 98 | South Asia
Protests close Gandhi play
18 Jul 98 | South Asia
Gandhi play banned
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