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UK website traces journey of Netaji’s ashes to Tokyo temple

Thereafter, while Col. Rehman and Maj. Nakamiya continued by air to Tokyo, Lt Hayashida with the remains took a train to Tokyo, guarded by three soldiers.

By: PTI | London |
Updated: February 15, 2016 9:36:21 pm
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A website created in the UK to chronicle the final days of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on M released details of what it claims is proof that the last remains of the freedom fighter travelled to and remain preserved at a temple in Tokyo.

The website posted details of the journey of the ashes from Taipei – where it has previously documented that Netaji died on August 18, 1945, as a result of a plane crash – to Renkoji Temple in the Japanese capital.

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It claims that on August 23, 1945 – the day after the cremation of Netaji at Taipei – his aide de camp Colonel Habibur Rehman, Major Nagatomo of the Japanese army and Juichi Nakamura, a Japanese interpreter who assisted Bose at the hospital before he died – took the mortal remains to the biggest temple in Taiwan – Nishi Honganji – to be kept there.

The Shah Nawaz Khan-led Netaji Inquiry Committee of 1956 noted a funeral ceremony was held at this Taiwanese site.

The Committee further recorded first-hand accounts that on September 5, 1945 Col. Rehman and Lt Colonel T. Sakai – both survivors of the crash – a Major Nakamiya and Sub Lt T Hayshida boarded a plane in Taipei with the remains – wrapped in cloth, which was placed in a wooden box.

Sub Lt Hayshida then slung this package around his neck as per Japanese custom, to fly to Fukuoka in southern Japan.

Thereafter, while Col. Rehman and Maj. Nakamiya continued by air to Tokyo, Lt Hayashida with the remains took a train to Tokyo, guarded by three soldiers.

The remains were immediately taken to the Japanese Army Imperial General Headquarters.

The next morning, Lt Colonel Takakura, Chief of the Military Affairs Section, phoned Rama Murti, President of the Indian Independence League in Japan, to take charge of the remains.

He came accompanied by S A Ayer, a minister in Bose’s Provisional Government of Free India, who had arrived in Tokyo from South-East Asia after hearing of the tragedy.

According to the website, Murti stated: “The urn was wrapped in white cloth and was taken out from a safety locker. It had straps of long cloth with which to sling around the neck of the bearer.

“It was a cubical box of about 1 foot dimension. It was received by Ayer. He was visibly moved by an overwhelming emotion. An army sedan car was arranged for our conveyance. Mr Ayer and myself took the urn directly to my house.”

At the time, Murti’s residence was also the headquarters of the Indian Independence League.

Bose’s Indian National Army’s Tokyo Cadets kept vigil over the remains.

The same night, according to Murti, Ayer questioned Col. Rehman about the crash: “Mr Ayer lost no time in confronting him with a barrage of questions to all of which Col Rehman very calmly, seriously and solemnly gave adequate replies.

“This conversation definitely cleared all doubts which My Ayer had, and Mr Ayer was resolved that the crash was an indisputable reality, and Netaji was a victim of it.”

A few days later – possibly September 18, 1945 – the remains were carried in a procession to the Renkoji temple for a funeral ceremony, which was attended by about 100 people.

After the funeral, the head priest of the temple, Reverand Mochizuki, was requested by Bose’s associates and a staff officer of the Japanese Army to preserve the remains in a befitting manner until such time they are transferred to the proper authorities.

More than 70 years have passed, but that day is yet to come, according to the website http://www.bosefiles.info.

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