The Centre, in a Right to Information reply on Tuesday, said freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose had died in a plane crash in in Taiwan in 1945. The Union Home Ministry was replying to RTI applicant and Open Platform for Netaji spokesperson Sayak Sen’s query asking for information about an individual identified as Gumnami Baba or Bhagwanji who some believe was the freedom fighter and said the Mukherjee Commission’s report conclusion proved those claims wrong.
“After considering the reports of Shahnawaz Committee, Justice GD Khosla Commission and Justice Mukherjee Commission of Enquiry, the government has come to the conclusion that Netaji has died in plane crash in 1945,’’ the Union home ministry said. The Mukherjee Commission had concluded that Gumnami Baba/Bhagwanji was not Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
The definitive answer, when many questions remain about Bose’s death, has not gone down well with his family. “This is irresponsible move,” Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party vice president and Bose’s grandson Chandra Bose asked. “How can the government conclude Netaji’s death without concrete evidence?’’
Chandra Bose called the Centre’s response “highly objectionable” and said he would ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene. “It is he [Modi] who declassified files after 70 years,” Chandra Bose said. “During our meeting, he promised us to take the investigations to its logical conclusion and solve the mystery.”
Bose said the Mukherjee Commission was set up as other panels had failed to give a conclusive answer, but that it had clearly stated that Netaji did not die in the plane crash.
The government had, in 2015, taken a decision to declassify documents related to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. These documents have been made available online and are accessible on netajipapers.gov.in. On August 18, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s tweet, acknowledging Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s death anniversary, sparked protests on Twitter.