Kolkata: Stressing the need to solve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced that the state government will declassify 64 files relating to the great Indian freedom fighter on September 18.
While speaking to news agency ANI, West Bengal Chief Minister confirmed the news and said, "We have decided to put in public domain all government files on Netaji that we have."
"Still the mystery surrounding Netaji continues to be unsolved. So whatever files we have we will declassify which may help in unravelling the mystery.
"From next Friday (September 18) the documents will be open for the public, they will be kept at the city police archive," Banerjee told mediapersons at the state secretariat.
"I don`t think the documents relate to any issues concerning internal security or the like," said Banerjee claiming that she was not initially aware about their existence.
"Even we were not aware that we had such files. We believed all such files on Netaji were with the central government. Nobody before bothered or gave a thought that files on Netaji can also be with the state government.
"Going through other files we came across these documents and we decided to make them public. It is a big decision," added Banerjee.
A host of Netaji descendants and researchers have been campaigning for declassification of secret files on Netaji. The campaigners have been claiming that over 100 such files are with the central government and at least 64 files with the Bengal government.
Meanwhile, Netaji`s grand nephew and convener of Open Platform Chandra Kumar Bose welcomed the decision.
Open Platform for Netaji is a forum comprising a host of descendants of the nationalist leader and researchers steadfastly campaigning for declassification of the secret Netaji files.
"We wholeheartedly welcome the decision. It is a great decision and will pave the way in unravelling what actually happened to Netaji. I think her decision will also prompt the Centre to take a decision in this regard," IANS quoted Chandra Kumar as saying.
Assuring to resolve the mystery around his disappearance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier told family members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that it was the country's responsibility to resolve the case soon.
Furthermore, bureaucrats at the Prime Minister's Office, home ministry and ministry of external affairs have so far stonewalled attempts to access the classified files that can throw light on Netaji's disappearance.
On August 22, 1945, Tokyo Radio broadcast announced the 'death' of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in an air crash in Formosa (now Taiwan) on August 18, 1945, en route to Japan.
(With Agency inputs)