Kolkata, Sept 19: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sparked off a new debate on whether freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose was alive or not after 1945.
After declassifying 64 files pertaining to the last days of Netaji from 1937 to 1947 in the state capital on Friday, the West Bengal Chief Minister said that she had gone through some files and had got the impression that Netaji may have been alive after 1945.
The Chief Minister also demanded that the Centre declassify files relating to the nationalist leader who went missing mysteriously 70 years ago.
“There are letters in the files where some people had said that Netaji might have been alive after 1945 (when he reportedly died in a plane crash),” Banerjee, who visited Kolkata Police Museum where the 64 declassified files are kept, told reporters.
“I did not get much time to go through the files. I have seen a bit of it and I have seen letters which were intercepted even after 1945 and documents which indicated that Netaji’s family was snooped upon,” she told the media.
Demanding that the Centre declassify files with it on Netaji, she said it is unfortunate that the mystery regarding his disappearance has remained unresolved for 70 long years.
“We do not know what happened (to Netaji). It is unfortunate. How long you can keep it under secrecy ?” she said.
“This (declassification of Netaji files by her government) is the beginning of the future. The people should know the truth. Let the Central government also declassify the files on Netaji.
“Let good sense prevail on all of us. You cannot suppress the truth. Let truth come out. It will come out today or tomorrow,” Banerjee said.
Asked to comment on the perception that India’s relations with some countries might be affected if files on Netaji with the Centre were declassified, the chief minister said, “Now we have got independence. There is no harm in honouring those leaders who got us independence. We should salute them.”
“Before declassifying the files we have seen that internationally nothing will happen. If we have bilateral relation with a country it is necessary to review it,” she added.
On questions whether there was any attempt to hide something, she said, “What you can guess, I can also. Let the country face the reality. There is nothing to hide. Why don’t you (Centre) declassify the files ?”
In some of the files that have been declassified, the then CID, Intelligence and Administrative officials had dismissed the Taiwan Air Crash theory.
The 12,744 pages of the 64 files have been digitised in the form of compact discs (CDs). The original files will be kept at the Kolkata Police Museum and will be open for public viewing from next Monday.
The Police Commissioner gave the first copies of digitised files to the family members of Netaji.
(With Agency Inputs)