In fact, around 52 files and 67 sets of exhibits, containing 11,186 pages, relating to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi's murder are in safe custody of National Archives of India, Union home minister Rajnath Singh informed the Elders.
On Wednesday, CPM MP P Rajeeve had raised the matter in the Rajya Sabha, citing media reports that as many as 1.5 lakh home ministry files had been destroyed since the cabinet secretary asked government departments to weed out unwanted files and papers. These, he alleged, included files relating to return journey of Lord Mountbatten to England in the early Fifties and foregoing of pension/salary by President Rajendra Prasad and former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.
"I would like to know why this decision was taken in a hurry," said Rajeeve, seeking a reply from the Prime Minister. He even wondered if it was an attempt to destroy records regarding the alleged involvement of some Hindutva elements in Gandhi's assassination.
The cabinet secretary's instructions asking government departments to weed out files followed a meeting taken by Prime Minister Modi on June 4 with all secretaries, where he stressed upon improving the work culture and work environment, including hygiene and cleanliness of the work space.
"In accordance with the instructions mentioned above, the files lying in different sections of the ministry of home affairs were reviewed and a total of 11,100 files were destroyed during the period 05.06.2014 to 08.07.2014," Singh told the Rajya Sabha in his statement.