The daughter of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose has asked the Centre and Japan’s government to conduct a DNA test on his remains to clear doubts about his death, PTI reported on Wednesday. Anita Bose-Pfaff made the suggestion in Ashis Ray’s book Laid to Rest: The Controversy over Subhas Chandra Bose’s Death, which will be released on February 12.
“For most people who continue to doubt Netaji’s [Bose’s] death in Taihoku in August 1945, one possible option for proof would be a DNA test of the remains of Netaji,” Bose-Pfaff was quoted as saying. She specified that it must first be possible to extract DNA from the bones that remain after Bose’s cremation.
“However, the governments of India and Japan would have to agree to such an attempt [to extract DNA from Bose’s bones],” Bose-Pfaff says. She adds that documents relating to Bose’s death had not been made public during the 1940s, and hence uncertainty prevailed.
“But as evidence became available from the mid-1950s, the only consistent story about Netaji’s demise remains his death in a plane crash on August 18, 1945,” Bose-Pfaff writes in the book. “For me personally, this fact was brought home most strikingly when I had the opportunity to be present during an interview by professor Leonard Gordon of one of the survivors of the plane crash in Tokyo in 1979.”
In June 2017, the Narendra Modi government had said in a Right to Information reply that the matter of the freedom fighter’s death was not closed. “There was a conclusion in 2006 that Netaji was dead,” a Ministry of Home Affairs spokesperson said. “The RTI reply was based on that conclusion. However, the issue is not closed. Any new fact, if it comes up, will be examined by the government on merit and an appropriate decision will be taken.”