Family members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on Saturday “welcomed” the declassifying of 100 secret files related to the freedom fighter by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged the government to take steps to declassify the “intelligence” files lying with India as well with countries such as Russia, Japan, the US and the UK.
“This is the first time that Prime Minister of India has taken a move to open the classified files. But these are not the intelligence files. What we need is the intelligence files not only of our country but also of Russia, the UK, the US, Japan to solve the mystery,” Bose’s grandnephew Surya Kumar Bose said.
Prime Minister Modi made public digital copies of 100 secret files relating to Netaji on his 119th birth anniversary at the National Archives of India (NAI) in the capital. The declassified files would be also availabe online for public access.
The NAI also plans to release digital copies of 25 declassified files on Bose in the public domain every month. Asked about the political implication of declassifying of the files at a time when West Bengal is gearing for Assembly election this year, Surya said, “I think that is definitely going to have a side effect to it (politics). For politics, there is always a political motive. Let’s be quite frank about it.”
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He, however, said, “But as far as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is concerned, I think he honestly has intention of clearing this mystery. It would definetly be politically helpful if his government is able to do so.”
On whether the declassifying cleared the mystery of Netaji’s death, he said, “We didn’t expect that. It is a monumental task as there are thousands of files. A high level investigative team as well international authority participation is required.”
In October last year, the Prime Minister had met the family members of Netaji and announced that the government would declassify the files relating to the leader whose disappearance 70 years ago remains a mystery.
While two commissions of inquiry had concluded that Netaji had died in a plane crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945, a third probe panel, headed by Justice M K Mukherjee, had contested it and suggested that Bose was alive after that. The controversy had also split members of the Bose family too.