Indira Gandhi refused fresh probe into Subhas Chandra's death, 'Bose family' was denied Netaji's ashes, claim new files

The second batch of 50 declassified files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose has been released.

Indira Gandhi refused fresh probe into Subhas Chandra's death, 'Bose family' was denied Netaji's ashes, claim new files

New Delhi: Union Minister Mahesh Sharma on Tuesday released the second batch of 50 declassified files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on web portal

Out of the 50 files released today, 10 files are from Prime Minister's Office (PMO), 10 from Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and 30 from Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), pertaining to the period 1956 to 2009. 

The files released today include matters pertaining to Netaji's ashes and the probe into his disappearance following the controversial air crash of 1945 in which he is believed to have perished.

According to one of the files released today, here's is an interesting fact about Netaji's 'ashes', which says: “no one member of the Bose family should be made the sole arbiter or spokesman on the issue.”

Here is the full text of a letter written by Ashis C Ray to the then Principal Secretary to PM:

Dear Mr Varma, Date: 21 February, 1995

I heard that the Cabinet recently discussed the matter of Netaji's “ashes”. This is the most gratifying; and I hope some productive action stems from the meeting.

However, I would like to reiterate that no one number of the Bose family should be made the sole arbiter or spokesman on the issue. As I have pointed out before, there are, unfortunately, serious differences among the Boss over what happened to Subhas Bose. And the rivals must be approached directly and separately by government for the effort to have any chance of succeeding.

Secondly, the best method of persuading the Forward Bloc to agree to the return of the “ashes”, may be to initiate this through Dr Lakshmi Sehgal, who can speak to Jyoti Basu, who in turn can influence the Forward Bloc. You may recall how Mr Basu prevailed upon the Forward Bloc on the Teen Bigha matter.

As I have stated before, I seek no publicity in the endeavour. I only want it to succeed. Indeed, even though it would appear that I have played a role in generating government's interest in the subject, I have no objection to anyone jumping in and claiming credit, as long the process is not jeopardised.

I am always available to assist in the task.

With best regards,

Yours sincerely

Ashis C Ray


According to an another document released today evening, the Indira Gandhi government had refused to set up a fresh inquiry into the mysterious death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as demanded by a large number of MPs in 1968.

An unstarred question No.1408 raised in the Lok Sabha in February 1968 was answered by the then government, saying there was no need for a fresh probe.

"The government has accepted the conclusion of the official inquiry committee appointed in 1956 that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose met his death in an air crash in the year 1945. Since no new facts have been brought to light, the government does not consider that any fresh inquiry is warranted," it said.        

The present release of 50 files further meets the continued public demand to access these files and this will now facilitate scholars to carry out further research on the doyen of the freedom movement.

The first lot of 100 files relating to Netaji, after their preliminary conservation treatment and digitisation, was put in the public domain by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 23, 2016, on the occasion of the 119th birth anniversary of Netaji.

In September last year, the West Bengal government had released 64 files relating to the death of Bose. The first lot of 33 files which were declassified were handed over by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to National Archives of India on December 4 last year.

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