Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Monday declassified cabinet papers on great freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and allied issues from 1938 to 1947.
"Those papers may have been confidential in pre-independent India but today there is a need to bring them into public domain. That is why we made them public," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.
Banerjee also released a CD containing information about those papers of 401 cabinet meetings during that period which had witnessed among other events 'Quit India' movement, the great 'Bengal Famine' and Partition of Bengal.
The move comes days after the state government had declassified around 64 files on Netaji. In the presence of Bose's family members, 8 DVDs of over 12,000 pages were released at a function here.
According to the declassified files by the West Bengal government, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose was "alive" and "somewhere in Manchuria, China" in 1948, one of his trusted aides, Deb Nath Das, had claimed then.
Notably, among the released dossier, file No 22 sheds light on intelligence gathered by the Bengal government (office of the deputy commissioner of police), on INA leaders, including Das.
An extract dated August 9, 1948, says: "Deb Nath Das, an ex-INA leader who is actively engaged in anti-Congress propaganda, is preaching in political and party circles that Netaji Subash Chandra Bose is alive and is somewhere in Manchuria, China at present."
However, on August 22, 1945, Tokyo Radio announced the "death" of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in an air crash in Formosa (now Taiwan) on August 18, 1945, en route to Japan.
But the crash theory has been rejected by scores of Bose's followers and admirers and claims of the revolutionary leader resurfacing continue to intrigue and divide Indians over the years.
Adding to the controversy, the extract further states that Das had asserted that in 1948 Bose was keeping tabs on the international as well as national scenario.
Bose, once the Congress president, made contact with the Axis powers during World War II. He formed the Indian National Army in Singapore, with the help of the Japanese, and fought the British Indian Army.
Ex-INA leader Das, was a key member of the provisional government-in-exile formed by Bose in 1943.