Documents declassified by the US espionage agency, the Central Intelligence Agency have revealed a shocking bit of information regarding an assassination attempt in 1950 on Field Marshal K M Cariappa, who took over as the first Indian Commander in Chief of the Indian Army from British Army officer General Roy Bucher on January 15, 1949.
“An attempt to assassinate General Cariappa, the commander-in-chief of Indian Army, was made during the General’s recent inspection tour of East Punjab,” said the CIA declassified report, titled “Rift in Officers corps of the Indian Army”, filed on June 12, 1950 that was hitherto unknown to the public.
The report is among some 13 million declassified documents, which the CIA have released online. The report was declassified in accordance with the US government’s 1995 executive order that allows automatic declassification of nonexempt historically valuable records 25 years or older.
The “confidential” report states that six people were sentenced to death for making an attempt on the life of Cariappa.
“Six persons have been sentenced to death in connection with the plot; several high army officers are believed to be involved,” the report said without identifying those sent to the gallows.
The report also states, “General Cariappa as South Indian is resented by the Sikh officers of the Indian Army. The RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) is capitalising on the North-South split among army officers, persuading Sikh officers, whom informant considers treacherous and unreliable, to spread dissension. Officers from Travancore (later Kerala), Madras and Maharashtra are invariable loyal to General Cariappa.”