Secret documents on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose released in Kolkata on Friday showed that some members of his family, who were snooped on by the government, believed that the nationalist leader was alive after 1945, the year he was reportedly killed in an air crash.
A declassified file contained a letter written by Netaji's nephew S K Bose to his father and Netaji's elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose in 1949 that he had information of Netaji
going on the air on a radio channel.
"Peking Radio announced that Subhas Chandra Bose would broadcast. The radio also gave details regarding the time and wavelength of the broadcast. The Hongkong office tried to
listen in according to the details but nothing could be heard. I have asked the guard to let me have further details if possible," he had written to his father from London on December 12, 1949.
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The letter was intercepted by Kolkata Police's intelligence bureau following a government order, according to the declassified files.
Netaji had gone missing in 1945 and some of his family members have rejected the theory that he had died in a plane crash in Taihoku airport in Taiwan on August 18 that year.
Another letter written by Sarat Chandra Bose to one Miss Lilly Abegg of Switzerland on December 28, 1949, stated "if you had heard in 1946 from Japanese sources that my
brother (Subhas) was still living, it strengthens my conviction more than if you had heard it from British and American sources."
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The files also have a number of letters written by Sarat Bose and received by him, which were intercepted mostly at the general post office in the city or the post office at Elgin Road, where the family lived.
Krishna Bose, another family member of Netaji, however, said that as a researcher and going by facts she believed that the leader died in the plane crash.
"As a researcher, I have an open mind. If it is proved by evidence that Netaji had not died in plane crash, I will accept it," she said.
Netaji's grand nephew Chandra Bose said family members who were alive during the time believed that the freedom fighter was alive.
"But why did the Indian government keep our family members, who were reputed citizens and well-known personalities, under surveillance? We demand an inquiry into this from the central government," he told PTI.
Bose said they have seen in the files that 14 IB officers were tasked to spy on his father Amiya Nath Bose.
"Even Congress leaders close to Netaji and officials of the Indian National Army (INA) were tracked. We have found it from the files," he claimed.
One of the declassified files only has a cover related to the disappearance of Netaji but the contents are missing.
"This is a case of suppression of facts. How can a secret file go missing? They should have kept a shadow file for all such important documents," he said.