West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee said on Friday that some of the declassified files indicate that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was alive even after 1945. Mamta Banerjee is the first government representative to publicly indicate that the freedom-fighter did not die in the purported air crash in Taiwan.
Banerjee’s comments came soon after her government publicized 64 classified secret files related to the brave son of India, Netaji who is said to have died on August 18, 1945, at Taihoku in Taiwan in an aeroplane crash. Mamta also said that her statement was based on whatever she has read so far on the Freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
Mamata released a digital version of the 64 secret files relating to Netaji that could help throw light on his mysterious disappearance. Mamta spent nearly half-an-hour on a computer at the Kolkata Police Museum perusing the digitized files. She said that at least one file mentioned about Netaji being alive in 1946. This was evident by a letter written by one Dr L Abegg from Zurich to Netaji’s brother Dr Sarat Chandra Bose in 1949 in which he said that in 1946 he had heard from some Japanese sources that Netaji was still alive.
Mamata Banerjee urged the Narendra Modi government to declassify the files on the nationalist leader in its possession. “It has been 70 years and it is extremely unfortunate that mystery still shrouds the life of one of India’s biggest national heroes and freedom fighter. The truth must come out now. It will come out. How long will the central government keep the files hidden?” Mamata asked.
Talking to the reporters after making 64 secret files on Netaji public, Mamata said, “Today is a historic day. Our government has made all Netaji files public. People have a right to know about the brave son of India who had raised the Indian National Army (INA) for an armed struggle against the British.”
“I have done my duty by making public all the files and reports on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose available with us. Now the Union government should publish all the reports in their possession. If you have nothing to hide why don’t you disclose the reports?” said Mamata Banerjee.
The Centre has about 130 files that it has refused to declassify so far, one of the reasons being the revelation may harm India’s relations with other countries.
This letter figures in File 606-29, one of 64 declassified files
The chief minister said that since childhood she was curious to know the mystery behind the disappearance of Netaji, and when, where and how the leader spent his remaining years and eventually died. “I think, like me, the whole world is interested in getting in to the bottom of this mystery. I have gone through a few pages of these reports and it indicates that Netaji was alive even after August 1945. I have no idea on the contents of the reports available with the Union government. But those reports might disclose many more unknown stories,” the chief minister added.