New Delhi: As the mystery surrounding Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's death continues to puzzle countrymen, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has maintained that the freedom fighter is not a 'war criminal'.
According to a report published in the 'Times of India', the MEA, while replying to an RTI application filed by activist Choodamani Nagendra, has maintained that there is no written proof to suggest that Netaji's name figures in the war criminal list.
However, the newspaper report says that MEA's UNP division doesn't clear the air on the existence of a war criminal list.
Meanwhile, Choodamani Nagendra has refused to accept the government's reply. She believes that documents related to war criminal list may have been destroyed.
In her RTI application, Choodamani had asked for answers on the steps taken by the government to remove Bose's name from war criminal list. She also asked for United Nations records on the issue.
Responding to the RTI query MEA's UNP division has dismissed the application saying that there is no record.
Reacting to the development, Netaji researcher Anuj Dhar told TOI, “As of today, there is nothing in government records that brands Bose as a war criminal. Even though we are not sure about something emerging in future, the reply clears his name for the present. But a more definitive reply was expected."
Ever since the West Bengal government released the top secret files relating to Netaji, the debate over the veteran freedom fighter's mysterious death has intensified further.
An 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.
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The recent release of 64 files by West Bengal government has revealed that the Indian government had snooped on Netaji's family even after 1945, when he was believed to have died in an air crash.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to declassify the secret files related to Bose from January 23, 2016 - his birth anniversary.