Campaign in Japan to solve Netaji mystery

Rejecting the theory that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had died in a plane crash, a group has decided to launch a campaign.

Kolkata: Rejecting the theory that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had died in a plane crash, a group of admirers of the nationalist leader in Japan have decided to launch an international campaign demanding declassification of documents relating to his disappearance in 1945.

Netaji`s grandnephew Surya Kumar Bose, who had recently been to Tokyo, told reporters here on Friday that a group of youngsters, researchers and two of Netaji`s contemporaries would launch a campaign and a website very soon.

"A key aim of this website, which would be in Japanese language, would be to campaign for the release of official records and files on Netaji, particularly those dealing with his disappearance in 1945," Bose said.

He said the admirers and followers of Netaji in Japan are also demanding declassification and release in the public domain all official files and records which are still in the custody of the government of Japan as well as those of India, United Kingdom, the US, Germany, Italy and Russia.

The website will host books and documents on Netaji in both Japanese as well as in other languages.

During his week-long stay in Japan last month, Bose met family members of the people who knew Netaji or had worked with him.

He had also gone to Renkoji Temple where the alleged ashes of Netaji are kept in an urn.

"According to the information we have received so far, a majority of the Bose family members believe that the contents of the urn have nothing to do with Netaji. Even the priest at the temple accepted my views," Bose said. Netaji family members said declassifying documents held with various governments, India in particular, would throw light on Netaji`s fate as well as the history of Indian National Army.

"A whole chapter in our history is missing. We need conclusive evidence to know what happened to Netaji Chandra Bose", the family`s spokesperson said.

When under house arrest by the British, Netaji had escaped from India in 1941 to seek international support for India`s freedom struggle. After reorganising the Indian National Army with Japanese help he went missing in 1945, giving birth to India`s most debated mystery.

Majority of the Netaji`s family members did not believe that the freedom fighter died in a plane crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945, exactly three days after Japan unconditionally surrendered to the Allied forces.

In a disclosure under the RTI appeal made by `Mission Netaji`, a Delhi-based research trust, the Prime Minister`s Office had earlier said that it was holding 33 secret files concerning Netaji.

It had declined to divulge their contents saying it could affect India`s sovereignty and relations with foreign nations.