Declassified Netaji files: Centre rejected probe reports twice, to assert ‘Bose dead’

The declassified files were released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the occasion of Bose’s birth anniversary, at the National Archives Saturday. Bose’s family members were present on the occasion.

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | New Delhi | Updated: January 24, 2016 7:10 am
Bharat ratna, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Anita Pfaff, netaji Anita Pfaff, netaji files, bose classified files, india news, latest news, netaji flight crash, PM paying tribute to Netaji at the release of the digital declassified files, at National Archives, Delhi. PTI

While the mystery over the death of Subhas Chandra Bose persists, the declassified Netaji files released online by the government on Saturday show that the Central government had made up its mind on the matter over two decades ago.

Rejecting the findings of a committee that probed the disappearance of the freedom fighter, a Union Cabinet note of February 1995 said, “There seems to be no scope for doubt that he died in the air crash of 18th August 1945 at Taihoku. Government of India has already accepted this position. There is no evidence whatsoever to the contrary.”

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The government had received a series of letters at the time from MPs and others to settle the matter.

The declassified files were released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the occasion of Bose’s birth anniversary, at the National Archives Saturday. Bose’s family members were present on the occasion.

Nearly a decade later, the UPA government rejected the findings of another commission, set up in 1999, to ascertain whether Bose had died in the plane crash, and whether the ashes at the Renkoiji temple in Tokyo were his. The Mukherjee commission, that submitted its report in November 2005, discounted both the plane crash theory as well as the claim that the ashes at the Renkoji temple were of Bose.

On May 11, 2006, Additional Secretary Vijay Sharma (Home) wrote to Home Secretary V K Duggal about a cabinet meeting that had discussed the Justice Mukherjee Commission report, and said, “The government did not agree with the findings that: a. Netaji did not die in the plane crash, and b. the ashes in the Renkoji temple were not of Netaji.”

He added, “The commission’s inquiry was inconclusive in many ways, unable to provide a definitive finding on several issues and at variance with past, well-accepted inquiry commissions’ findings in some critical areas.”

On the same issue, the 1995 Cabinet had also stated: “If a few individuals/organisations have a different view, they seem to be more guided by sentimentality rather than by any rational consideration.”

Two commissions before them — Shah Nawaz Committee and G D Khosla Commission — had concluded that Bose had died in the plane crash.

Many people had approached the government to resolve the mystery of Netaji’s disappearance. George Fernandes wrote a letter to then PM Narasimha Rao in July 1994 noting that the “controversy over the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose death needs to be settled without further delay… I notice that there is now a dispute about bringing into India the ashes of Netaji… You must take some initiative in this manner… It does not behove our country to keep the ashes of Netaji in Japan despite repeated requests from the Japanese that they be returned to India.”

The files have several pictures of the Renkoji temple in Tokyo, besides letters by persons such as a former Karnataka chief minister and Bose’s relative Ashis Ray urging the government to bring back the urn to India.

Hundred declassified files were released online today, and contain 36 files of Prime Minister’s office, 18 files of the Ministry of Home Affairs and 46 files of the Ministry of External Affairs, dealing with issues like Bose’s death and the Indian National Army.

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  1. I
    IML sood
    Jan 24, 2016 at 9:44 am
    What a new light that is before the people. How previous Cong Govt. knowingly wanted to suppress the real Hero's sacrifice to glorifying Nehru and his family. Even today their so called spokesperson is trying to paint a rosy picture of their crooked.leaders as more and more their dirty tricks are coming out and a time will come rather coming fast when they will not be able to hide their face. Welcome great PM of this country.
    1. K
      Jan 24, 2016 at 12:03 am
      Dalits must start demanding a dedicated Central University for the Dalits. That is the only way India can ensure the non-Dalit teachers will stop disrespecting India's original inhabitants. US has dedicated universities for the blacks.
      1. B
        Jan 24, 2016 at 12:52 am
        If Hitler have succeeded subhash family was going to rule this country bad luck bose GOD had no plan for you
        1. K
          kulaputra kulaputra
          Jan 24, 2016 at 12:27 am
          Further division of country is hardly the answer to this problem. Integration is. Politicians and British have divided the country on religion and Dravidian fault lines. By perpetuating this, we fall further into their trap. Everyone in this country can claim discrimination. Let us have one uniform civil code and all this tyranny once and for all.
          1. M
            madan gupta
            Jan 23, 2016 at 11:46 pm
            अगर नेता जी जिंदा होते तो नेहरु जेल में होता या इंग्लैंड भाग गया होता.
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