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Key Files of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Released – ‘The ministry of external affairs has maintained till now that the information contained in these files is of sensitive nature and bringing this information in the public domain at this juncture is not desirable from the point of view of India’s relations with other countries’.
OLD NEWS – The Central Government has previously refused to declassify at least 87 top secret files containing information about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, essentially on grounds that they are of “sensitive nature” that could be a problem for “India’s relations with other countries”.
This came up in a written reply from minister of state for home Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary in Rajya. The minister was replying to questions from Trinamool Congress MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, who had asked how many files relating to Bose are lying with the government and whether the government is considering declassifying any of them. In his reply, Chaudhary said while there are 60 top secret files on Netaji Bose with the Prime Minister’s Office, of which only two have been declassified and sent to the National Archives, there are 29 files with the external affairs ministry, which the government is “not considering to declassify”.
“The ministry of external affairs has informed that the information contained in these files is of sensitive nature and bringing this information in the public domain at this juncture is not desirable from the point of view of India’s relations with other countries,” said the reply.
TMC Rajya Sabha MP Roy had urged the Modi government to declassify files relating to Netaji like it has been done in case of other national leaders. He wrote to home minister Rajnath Singh on August 4, 2014 and on October 21, 2014, requesting him to declassify the files. Roy in his letter also reminded Singh of an assurance he had made in Odisha during a public speech saying “if BJP comes to power, we will definitely take steps to unravel the mystery behind Netaji’s disappearance”. Singh had replied to Roy on August 22, 2014 saying that he is “having the matter examined”.
UPDATE ON FRIDAY – Well, the Central Government today was taken by surprise by a dramatic disclosure by the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. She declassified 64 files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that had been in the records of the state and city police, and more, she dared the the Union government to release the files in its possession.
The 64 files containing 12,744 pages were declassified in the presence of his family members, who have been demanding that information on Netaji, kept confidential till now, should be made public. The files were displayed in glass cascades at the Police Museum here and they would be made accessible to the public from Monday, Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha said. Purakayastha also handed over a DVD containing the files to the family members of Netaji.
Mamata Banerjee said, she believes Subhas Chandra Bose was alive after 1945, becoming the first head of government to publicly indicate the freedom-fighter did not die in the purported air crash in Taiwan. “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 in an address to the media at the Kolkata Police Museum.
“I think, like me, the whole world is interested to get 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. The chief minister also claimed that she was not aware of these files/reports when she came in power in 2011.
“Immediately after I came to know about these files, I asked the police to make them public. I had asked the police commissioner to make certain arrangements inside the Kolkata Police museum in North Kolkata so that students, tourists from all over the world and research scholars can sit here for hours and go through them,” she said.
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. “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,” Banerjee, who visited the police museum, tweeted.
Bose’s family members and researchers have repeatedly maintained the secret files lying in Delhi are of significance, as they contain the answer to the key questions on the disappearance of the firebrand leader and the subsequent years.
Welcoming the declassification of the 64 files, Chandra Bose, Netaji’s grandnephew said, “It is a correct step. Now it is the duty of the central government to declassify 130 files it has with it.” Chandra Bose added, “By keeping the files (on Netaji) under secrecy for 70 long years, some leaders have committed treachery towards the country. It is the duty of the central government to declassify those files to expose those leaders.”. Another family member of Netaji and a former TMC MP Krishna Bose said that Mamata Banerjee has taken a bold step by declassifying the files.
On whether Netaji died in 1945 in a plane crash, Chandra Bose replied, “A communication from CID Howrah quoting the US and the British intelligence stated that he did not die in plane crash.”
However, Union Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijiju said the Centre has to keep in mind supreme national interests while taking any decision on the release of the secret files.
Source: The Telegraph