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On Netaji's Death, British Website Claims End To Mystery


Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose died in a plane crash in Taiwan in 1945 and till his last breath exhorted Indians to fight for their freedom, a British website has claimed. Releasing what it claims are eyewitness accounts of the fateful day, the website has quoted several people who were reportedly involved in the matter related to the accident as well as two British intelligence reports that revisited the crash site.

According to the documents, on August 18, 1945 a Japanese Air Force bomber took off from Tourane in Vietnam with Netaji and 12 or 13 other passengers and crew.Soon after take-off there was a loud explosion, according to Colonel Habib ur Rahman - Netaji's assistant and a co-passenger who survived the crash. Captain Nakamura alias Yamamoto, the ground engineer in-charge of maintenance at the airport, who was watching from the ground, estimated "the plane crashed about 100 metres beyond the concrete runway" and immediately caught fire in the front portion.

Lt Col Shiro Nonogaki, who was on the flight, said: "When I first saw Netaji after the plane crash, he was standing somewhere near the left tip of the left wing of the plane. His clothes were on fire and his assistant was trying to take off his coat." "Since Netaji was sitting very near the petrol tank, he was splashed all over with petrol. It seemed that all his body was on fire," he said.

According to the website, there were variations in the details provided by Col Rahman, Lt Col Nonogaki, Major Kono and Captain Nakamura and others. They were giving evidence 11 years after the accident. But in essence they were unanimous on the fact of the crash; and on Netaji suffering severe burns and injuries as a consequence.

In his last words, the website says, Netaji told Mr Rehman in Hindi, "When you go back to the country, tell the people that up to the last I have been fighting for the liberation of my country; they should continue to struggle, and I am sure India will be free before long. Nobody can keep India in bondage now."

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