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Why Subhas Chandra Bose’s death is ‘India’s biggest cover-up’

Subhas Chandra Bose, the pre-independence hero and founder of Azad Hind Fauj, would have been 115-years-old, if he were alive today. In Bose’s case, the "mystery" surrounding his death still haunts the nation. And the latest revelation about Pranab Mukherjee, Congress candidate for President and former finance minister, has made it all the more intriguing.

In a recently released book "India’s Biggest Cover-up," journalist and author Anuj Dhar alleges that Pranab Mukherjee and the Congress-led government do not want the 'truth’ about Bose to come out. Citing 200 documents, 90 of them are classified, Dhar claims that they are engaged in a major cover up to protect the official line that Bose died in an air crash in Taiwan in 1945.

A baba who died at Faizabad on 16 September 1985 could be Subhas Chandra Bose. He would have been 88 then. Reuters

"If he had not 'died' at the close of WWII (World War II), Subhas Chandra Bose could have become the leader of free India instead of Jawaharlal Nehru," Anuj Dhar writes. He tells Firstpost, "Bose did not die in an air crash in Taipei. He had possibly gone to Russia and since then we lost track of him."

Three enquiry commissions have been set up to inquire into the Bose mystery so far. The first two committees, Shah Nawaz Khan Committee of 1956 and Justice G D Khosla Commission of 1970, concluded that Bose died in an air crash. But Anuj Dhar alleges that the witnesses — who mostly belonged to the Congress government and Intelligence Bureau (IB) — presented 'manipulated’ documents before these committees. In his book, he cites truncated documents and false statements given by top officers of IB.

Then Justice MK Mukherjee Commission was appointed during the AB Vajpayee-led NDA government. The Vajpayee government fell, but Justice Mukherjee continued his inquiry. With the UPA back in power, Pranab Mukherjee became the Minister of Defence and was one of the seven witnesses who testified in favour of air crash death theory before Justice Mukherjee.

Dhar claims that Pranab Mukherjee went to Japan and met the foreign minister there in 1995. And then he went to Germany to meet Bose’s German wife. "Pranab had gone there to persuade her to come to India with Bose’s ashes to put all controversies to rest. But Bose’s wife simply asked him to get lost,’’ he says.

When Justice Mukherjee ruled out the possibility of Bose dying in the air crash in his 2005 report, Pranab and his UPA government trashed Justice Mukherjee’s report and did not accept it.

"Even in 1996, when a joint secretary level officer in the ministry of external affairs recommended that India should seek evidences on Bose’s presence in Russia from the KGB archives, the then external minister Pranab Mukherjee put it under wraps, on grounds that it would spoil the Indo-Russian relationship," claims Dhar.

"This is ridiculous! The Russian Empire fell in 1992 and information from the KGB archive has been freely available for every country since then, provided you put in a request for it. Why can't the Congress government issue a demarche to Russia to get information on Bose? Why do they have to sit over information on Bose mystery available in the Cabinet archive and Home Ministry archives in our own country,’’ asks Anuj Dhar.

This is Anuj Dhar’s second book on Bose mystery. The first book documented information from the Taiwanese government that claimed that no plane carrying Netaji had ever crashed there.

This second book hints that a baba who died at Faizabad on 16 September 1985 could be Subhas Chandra Bose. He would have been 88 then.

"His handwriting samples had matched with the ones of Bose. And even Justice Mukherjee in an informal talk had admitted that this Faizabad baba could be Bose. He said it in Bengali to Times Now in 2010. He had probably said it off the record. But the camera was rolling and his statement got recorded. It was even telecast,’’ Dhar claims.