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Indira refused fresh probe into Netaji's death in 1968: Documents

The Narendra Modi government has released 50 more declassified files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The files were uploaded on web portal www.netajipapers.gov.in by Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma.

India TV News Desk [ Published on: March 30, 2016 8:22 IST ]
50 new declassified files on Netaji released
Image Source : PTI 50 new declassified files on Netaji released

New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government has released 50 more declassified files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The files were uploaded on web portal www.netajipapers.gov.in by Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma.

Files released on Tuesday include matters pertaining to Netaji's ashes and the probe into his disappearance following the controversial air crash of 1945 in which he is believed to have perished. The latest release of 50 files will further meet the "continued public demand" to access these files and this will also help scholars carry out further research on Bose's role in India's freedom movement, an official source said.

The new batch of 50 files consists of 10 files from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), 10 from the home ministry and 30 files from the external affairs ministry, pertaining to the period from 1956 to 2009.

The latest documents revealed that former PM Indira Gandhi had refused to set up a fresh inquiry into the mysterious death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as demanded by a large number of MPs in 1968. An unstarred question No.1408 raised in the Lok Sabha in February 1968 was answered by the then government, saying ‘there was no need for a fresh probe’.

"The government has accepted the conclusion of the official inquiry committee appointed in 1956 that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose met his death in an air crash in the year 1945. Since no new facts have been brought to light, the government does not consider that any fresh inquiry is warranted," it said.

Also the Netaji’s family was denied his 'ashes' by the government in 1995 saying ‘no one member of the Bose family should be made the sole arbiter or spokesman on the issue’.

Here is the full text of a letter written by Ashis C Ray to the then Principal Secretary to PM in 1995:

Dear Mr Varma, Date: 21 February, 1995

I heard that the Cabinet recently discussed the matter of Netaji's “ashes”. This is the most gratifying; and I hope some productive action stems from the meeting.

However, I would like to reiterate that no one number of the Bose family should be made the sole arbiter or spokesman on the issue. As I have pointed out before, there are, unfortunately, serious differences among the Boss over what happened to Subhas Bose. And the rivals must be approached directly and separately by government for the effort to have any chance of succeeding.

Secondly, the best method of persuading the Forward Bloc to agree to the return of the “ashes”, may be to initiate this through Dr Lakshmi Sehgal, who can speak to Jyoti Basu, who in turn can influence the Forward Bloc. You may recall how Mr Basu prevailed upon the Forward Bloc on the Teen Bigha matter.

As I have stated before, I seek no publicity in the endeavour. I only want it to succeed. Indeed, even though it would appear that I have played a role in generating government's interest in the subject, I have no objection to anyone jumping in and claiming credit, as long the process is not jeopardised.

I am always available to assist in the task.

With best regards,

Yours sincerely

Ashis C Ray

The first batch of 100 files relating to Netaji, after their preliminary conservation, treatment and digitisation, was put in the public domain by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 23 - on the occasion of the 119th birth anniversary of the freedom fighter.

In 1997, the National Archives of India had received 990 declassified files pertaining to the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) from the defence ministry, and in 2012 1,030 files/items pertaining to the Khosla Commission (271 files/items) and Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry (759 files/items) from the home ministry.

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