West Bengal government to declassify Bose files

12 Sep 2015 | Written by Shiladitya ; Edited by Vaneet Randhawa

WB CM Mamata Banerjee announced the declassification of 64 files on Netaji Shubhas Chandra Bose, which will be released on 18 September.

She stated that the truth should be out, and that declassification might provide information on the alleged spying on Bose's family.

The Bose family's demands for declassification have partly been met, as the Centre is yet to declassify some 37 secret files.

In context: The Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose files

1946The Figess Report

Colonel Figess investigating Bose's death submitted a report in 1946, which confirmed the plane crash near Taihoku airport in Japan on 18 August 1945, on which Bose was a passenger.

It confirmed Bose's death in a nearby military hospital, his cremation in Taihoku and the transfer of his ashes to Tokyo.

The cause of death was heart failure resulting from multiple burns and shock.

The public release of the Figess report

The Figess report, filed in 1946 by Colonel Figess working for the Indian Political Intelligence (IPI), was not released to the public even when IPI documents were declassified. It was donated anonymously to the British Museum in 1997.
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Suresh Chandra Bose refutes plane-crash theory

1956Suresh Chandra Bose refutes plane-crash theory

The Shah Nawaz Comittee of 1956 was a three-man committee headed by Shah Nawaz Khan, other members being ICS officer SN Maitra and Suresh Chandra Bose, Netaji's elder brother.

It interviewed 67 witnesses and concluded that Bose died in the crash on 18 August 1945 in Taihoku.

SC Bose refused to sign the report, claiming foul-play by the Nehru government and withholding crucial evidence.

1974The Khosla Commission findings

In 1970, the Government of India appointed a new commission to enquire into Bose's mysterious "disappearance".

This was a one-man commission, the investigator being GD Khosla, a retired chief-justice of the Punjab High Court.

The report submitted in 1974, concurred with the conclusions of the reports by Figess and Shah Nawaz Committee, and also explained possible motives of people behind refutal of the evidence.

18 May 2006Mukherjee Commission report snubbed by government

In 1999, SC judge MK Mukherjee was assigned to probe into Bose's death.

The commission observed that the ashes in Renokji temple were not Bose's ashes, and finally concluded that Bose did not die in the plane crash.

The report was submitted on 8 November 2005, and tabled in Parliament on 17 May 2006.

The government rejected the report without stating a cause.

23 Jan 2014Rajnath Singh demands declassification

BJP President Rajnath Singh visited Netaji's birthplace in Cuttack on his birth anniversary.

Posting on Facebook, he said, "Netaji's death is still a mystery for most of us. The entire country is eager to know as to how Netaji died and under what circumstances. The mystery behind his death should be unveiled by the Union Government to let the people know the truth."

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Nov 2014Government snubs RTI enquiry on Bose files

RTI activist Shubhash Agarwal filed a RTI enquiry on Bose files.

Inspite of Rajnath Singh's words, the BJP led government refused to declassify documents on Bose, stating in reply, "Disclosure of documents contained in these files would prejudicially affect relations with foreign countries. As such, these files are exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(a) read with Section 8(2) of the Right to Information Act."

Apr 2015Controversy over spying

Two declassified Intelligence Bureau (IB) files claimed that the Jawaharlal Nehru government had spied on Netaji's family for 20 years, from 1948-1968, causing a massive controversy.

BJP spokesperson MJ Akbar stated that the Congress government was afraid of Bose's return which might have mobilised the opposition against Congress in the 1957 polls, while Congress accused BJP of motivated news plants.

12 Sep 2015West Bengal government to declassify Bose files

18 Sep 2015Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose files declassified

The West Bengal government today declassified 64 files related to Netaji.

The files have been digitized; they have been given to the family members as well as displayed at a police museum in Kolkata.

The 64 files contain 12,744 pages and the public will be allowed to view them only from Monday.

Netaji's grand-nephew congratulated CM Mamata Banerjee for this bold step

23 Jan 2016100 files on Subhash Bose to be declassified today

To commemorate the 119th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, PM Narendra Modi will declassify for the first time "100 files on the freedom fighter that have been classified till now".

The files will be brought in the public domain in an event in Delhi.

At least a dozen members of the Bose family will be present to mark the occasion.