A “sensational report” about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose exiting Singapore, leaving behind a sword, in a Japanese submarine and not by the airplane that allegedly crashed in Taiwan was investigated by the West Bengal government in 1969. The probe was handled by the then state home secretary and DIG Intelligence Bureau, as per a Netaji file recently declassified by the state government.
The basis of the investigation was a letter that Samar Guha, a member of parliament, had written to the then West Bengal chief secretary M M Basu and spoke about the “sensational report” of Netaji’s survival. After receiving the letter, Basu had directed the state government’s home secretary to conduct a probe into the claims”.
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A close associate of Netaji, Guha was a member of the Janata Dal (Secular) when he died in 2002.
“A sensational report about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s escape has been published in ‘Jugantar’ on 6-3-69 on page 5 in which a police officer of the Government of West Bengal who served the Armed Force of the GOI at the time of war at Singapore, is said to have disclosed a hitherto unknown fact about Netaji. It was so far known that Netaji left Singapore by a plane for Taihoko in Formosa but the said policeman claimed from his personal knowledge that he instead boarded a Japanese submarine at Singapore with two Japanese officers at the time of surrender by Japan. He also claimed that Netaji left his sword with him which he brought to India with the help of late Air Marshall Subrata Mukherji,” the letter read.
Attached to the letter is a handwritten copy of Jugantar article attributed to a “staff reporter”. The report adds that while Netaji was in Singapore, he had befriended a Japanese man serving in the Singapore army. The reports claims that this man had presented Netaji with a sword and driven him to a beach in Singapore in his motor car and left the spot. “Later, when he returned to the spot, Netaji wasn’t to be found there,” and the report concluded that it was likely that he had left Singapore in a submarine, while Netaji’s sword “was left in the car”.
An official, involved with the process of declassifying the documents, said, “It seems that the Indian government wasn’t convinced of Netaji’s death and was probing all conspiracy theories.”