General public can now have an access to some of the files and hitherto classified documents linked and associated with Subhas Chandra Bose, prominent freedom fighter known better as ‘Netaji’. The West Bengal government on Friday declassified 64 files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. 64 files containing 12,744 pages were declassified in the presence of his family members who have been long demanding that information on Bose, kept confidential till now, should be made public.
It is speculated that the declassified files might throw some light on Netaji’s life and especially his mysterious disappearance, which has puzzled many in this country. The move by the West Bengal government may not be bereft of politics either, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee soon after taking the decision stressed that the BJP-led Central government too must now make public its files on Bose.
“Today is a historic day. Our government has made all Netaji files public. People have a right to know about the brave son of India,” Chief Minister Banerjee wrote on the micro blogging site Twitter.
The files were displayed in glass cascades in Kolkata Police Museum and they would be made accessible to the public from Monday onwards. Of the 64 files, 55 were with Kolkata Police while another nine were with the state police.
“We made a beginning. The people should know the truth. Let the Central government also declassify the files (on Netaji,” Mamata Banerjee said after visiting the museum housing files.
“In 70 years, the mystery has not been solved. We did not know what happened (to Netaji). It is unfortunate. How long you can keep it under secrecy. You read the files in details,” the Chief Minister added.
The state police also handed over a DVD containing the files in digitised format to the family members of Netaji.
Welcoming the state government’s decision of declassification, Chandra Bose, Netaji’s grandnephew said, “It is a correct step. Now it is the duty of the central government to declassify 130 files it has with it.”
“By keeping the files (on Netaji) under secrecy for 70 long years, some leaders have committed treachery towards the country. It is the duty of the central government to declassify those files to expose those leaders,” Mr. Chandra Bose added.
The mystery on Netaji’s death in a plane crash has baffled many over the years. On whether Netaji died in 1945 in a plane crash, his grandnephew replied, “A communication from CID Howrah quoting the U.S and the British intelligence stated that he did not die in plane crash.”
Another family member of Netaji and a former TMC MP Krishna Bose said that Mamata Banerjee has taken a bold step by declassifying the files.
“So far there were gossips, now truth will come out. I am happy that the files have been made public”, she said, adding that the Centre should also do so.
(With inputs from the PTI)