Kolkata: January 16, 1941 is one of the most important days in the pre-Independence Day era as the great freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose made the 'great escape' from the house arrest by Britishers in Kolkata on this date.
Netaji's escape plan became the most talking point of that time and exposed the British intelligence.
Days before the Narenedra Modi government starts declassifying files on Bose, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that she didn't believe that the freedom fighter died in air crash and demanded that the 'Russian angle' in Netaji's disappearance needs to be probed.
"I don't believe that Netaji died (in air crash). This is my opinion as individual. We don't know whether he is still alive or not.
She was speaking at a programme here commemorating the 75th anniversary of Netaji's great escape from Kolkata. About reports of Netaji family under surveillance after Independence, Banerjee said, "If Mahatma Gandhi was father of the nation, Netaji was leader of the nation”.
The secret files related to Subhas Chandra Bose will be declassified by the central government beginning 23 January, the birth anniversary of Netaji.
There have been demands by Netaji's family and several others for declassification of secret files as they hope that it will help answer questions regarding his mysterious disappearance in 1945.