Two crucial files relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose will be declassified by Japan this year-end, but the country has given no assurance regarding three more such files in its custody, government said on Tuesday, April 26.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told Lok Sabha that these five files, which are with Japan, could be "crucial" to resolve the mystery over the fate of Bose. "Japan has conveyed to us that they will declassify two of the five files by the end of this year but no commitment has been given to the rest of the three files. But we are hopeful that they will declassify the remaining three files too," he said during Question Hour.
Rijiju said two files relating to Netaji which were with the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Home Affairs continue to be missing and efforts were on to trace them. While the file, which was with the PMO, related to bringing back the ashes believed to be of Netaji from Renkoji temple in Japan to India and installation of his statue at Red Fort, the file which was with the MHA too related to the ashes, he said, adding efforts were on to find these two files.
Rijiju said India has approached a number of countries to retrieve any documents related to Netaji and they have responded to the requests. While Austria, Russia and the United States have conveyed to the Indian government that they do not have any file or document relating to Netaji, the United Kingdom said that all 62 files under their possession were given to British Library and are available for public. Germany too has said that the files relating to Netaji were archived after declassifying them, he said.
Rijiju said the first two inquiry commissions had suggested that Bose died in a plane crash in Taihoku (now Taipei) on August 18, 1945, but the Mukherjee commission had rejected the conclusions of the previous two inquiry commissions. "We are not in a position to say actually what had happened to Netaji," he said. The Minister said around 150 Netaji files have been declassified so far and were available online, while 25 more files each are being uploaded online every month.
In October last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met the family members of Netaji and announced that the government would declassify the files relating to the leader whose disappearance 70 years ago remains a mystery. While two commissions of inquiry had concluded that Netaji had died in a plane crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945, a third probe panel, headed by Justice M K Mukherjee, had contested it and suggested that no such air crash had taken place.