The government Friday released the third set of files related to the death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The latest files pertain to the correspondence between various political leaders and government functionaries between 1990 and 2006 regarding the supposed death of Bose in an air crash in 1945.
The new set of 25 declassified files comprise five files handed over to the National Archives of India by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) last year, five from the Home Ministry and the remaining from the External Affairs Ministry. One of the files contains a news report carried by The Statesman on October 5, 1991, citing correspondence between the office of then PM Morarji Desai and Bose’s family members as well as senior leaders from Janata Dal in Bengal regarding the enquiry on the said crash.
The files were released online on web portal http://www.netajipapers.gov.in by Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma. On the occasion, Sharma also announced the government’s plan to set up a memorial for Bose “in the heart of the Capital”.
Two commissions of enquiry had concluded that Bose died in a plane crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945, while a third probe panel had suggested that no such crash took place. In 1977, Bose’s relatives and some senior Janata Dal leaders from Bengal wrote to Desai, saying that they want conclusive proof of Bose’s death in the crash – such as what time did the crash happen, who all were accompanying Bose and the circumstances of the crash. These details have come out in the public domain through the latest set of files released.
Sharma said, “The people of this country, specially the youth, want to know about the life of Netaji, and his contribution towards the freedom struggle. The declassification is aimed at making the information public for scholars and researchers.”
He added, “People of this country also want to know why the Congress leadership at that time, under PM Morarji Desai, had kept this information from the media and general public. By the time the last set of files is released, the mystery surrounding Netaji’s death for so many decades will be cleared.”
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