New Delhi: While the declassified files may not provide "conclusive" proof of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being alive after 1945, an independent journalist and grandnephew of Subhas Chandra Bose, Ashis Ray, on Tuesday released a new set of documents in London.
The documents debunks the popular notion that Bose entered into Soviet Union in 1945, the year of his death as per records, and comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's proposed visit to Moscow later this month.
After making the documents public, Ray claimed that they are part of the classified files of the Indian government on Netaji.
Ray released what he claimed is the correspondence between the Indian and Russian governments between 1991 and 1995 over Netaji's whereabouts in 1945, the year of his death as per records. In one letter, India wanted to know if Bose had entered Russian territory in "1945 or subsequently," as per a report published in NDTV.
In September 1991, the Indian government wrote to the Russian Federation, asking whether Netaji had entered or stayed in Russia. The Russians wrote back in January 1992, saying, "No information whatsoever is available on the stay of the former President of INC (Indian National Congress)."
Three years later, India wrote again to Russia. "There has been further speculation in this context reportedly on the basis of archival material. Please examine all material for a final determination on whether or not Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose entered or stayed anywhere in territory of Soviet Union in 1945 or subsequently." Russia repeated its earlier reply.
"To arrive at a conclusion, we first need to eliminate what is not correct. This exchange of letters between the two governments is an indication that Subhas Chandra Bose perhaps did not go as suspected by a few people," said Ray.
Recently, Principal Secretary to the PM, Nripendra Misra handed over the first set of files related to Netaji to the Director General of National Archives of India.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs are also separately taking action for release of files under their custody.
The demands for declassification of secret files have been growing lately, especially after the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal recently declassified 64 files which were in its possession.
One of the declassified files refers to a secret document by the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Branch Calcutta from January 1949 stating that Sarat Chandra Bose believed Netaji was somewhere in China.
According to media reports, the freedom fighter is believed to have died in an airplane crash at Taipei in Taiwan on August 18, 1945. Many in India had then rejected the theory and demanded evidence. Two of the three government-appointed inquiries into Bose's death concluded that he died in an airplane crash.