New Delhi: Japan will declassify two crucial files relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s death by the end of this year, but has given no such assurance regarding three more files in its custody, the government said today.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told Lok Sabha that these five files could be “crucial” in shedding light on the unsolved mystery of the leader’s disappearance 70 years ago.
“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 [regarding the remaining] three files. But we are hopeful that they will declassify the remaining three files too,” he said during Question Hour.
Rijiju said that two files relating to Bose that were at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Ministry of Home Affairs went missing and that efforts to trace them continue. Both files relate to bringing back to India the ashes believed to be of Bose from the Renkoji temple in Japan, and the file that was at the PMO possibly also references the installation of his statue at the Red Fort.
After Bose’s death, two commissions of inquiry concluded that he had died in a plane crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945. However, a third probe panel, headed by Justice M. K. Mukherjee, contested those conclusions, stating that no such crash had happened.
“We are not in a position to say what actually happened to Netaji,” Rijiju asserted in Lok Sabha.
Rijiju further stated that a number of countries have responded to India’s request for any documents related to Bose that they may have. Austria, Russia and the US have conveyed that they do not have any such files or documents. The United Kingdom has said that all 62 files in its possession were given to the British Library and are available for public use. Germany has also said that its files relating to Bose were archived after declassification.
A total of around 150 files have been declassified so far and are available online. Twenty-five more files are being uploaded each month.
In October 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Bose’s surviving family members and announced that the government would declassify all files related to Bose.