The latest declassification of 50 files on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose has now revealed some more confusing information. 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.
According to a report in The Times of India, the latest declassification proves that the Congress government in the 60s and 70s destroyed several files.
The reported quoted the documents as saying, "one file no. 12(226)56-PM has been destroyed on 6.3.1972; certain documents of file no. 23(156)51-PM have been destroyed while recording that file; and one file no. 2(381)60-66PM (proposal to bring Shri Subhas Chandra Bose's ashes from Tokyo to put up a memorial to him in front of the Red Fort in Delhi) is not readily traceable in our records."
Meanwhile the Hindustan Times reports that in 1968 a Pakistani official had promised to help India get information about Bose's journey through Peshawar, Kabul, Tashkent, Moscow and Berlin during World War II.
The files, according to the report, suggest that then Indian high commissioner S Sen had received a positive reply from Pakistan’s information secretary Altaf Gauhar when he had asked if the country could help India with information on Netaji.
Hindustan Times quotes Sen's report to the External Affairs Ministry as saying, "Mr Altaf Gauhar advised that while there was no objection to this kind of scientific research being undertaken with Pakistan’s cooperation, no publicity should be given to this matter simply because Netaji’s background has many political implications which are not liked by several political elements"
The documents also reveal that the Indira Gandhi government 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.
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 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.
With IANS inputs