India's West Bengal government has declassified 64 files on revolutionary leader “Netaji” Subhash Chandra Bose, which contain letters supporting the theory that he was alive after 1945 and that his family was under government surveillance, The Statesman reports.
The digitised version of the declassified 64 files were made available in a set of seven DVDs. The original files are housed at the Calcutta Police Museum. The files will be accessible to the public from Monday on a first-come-first-serve basis.
However, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banarjee said the files on Netaji Bose contain elements supporting the theory that he was alive after 1945.
"There are intercepts. I have seen the documents and it is clear from them that the family of Netaji was spied upon," she said while speaking to the media.
On the snooping, she said it was "unfortunate" that after India's independence Netaji did not get due honour.
Read more: Subhash Bose's 64 files to be declassified
In addition, she said, some letters said that he was alive after his "disappearance".
Netaji Bose had approached Germany and Adolf Hitler to form an army to kick the British out of India and was wanted by allied forces.
On August 22, 1945, Tokyo Radio announced the 'death' of Netaji Bose in an air crash in Formosa (now Taiwan) on August 18, 1945, en route to Japan.
But the crash theory has been rejected by scores of Netaji's followers and admirers since no photograph of the body, which was said to have been cremated in Taiwan, was released. His death has been the subject of a number of conspiracy theories in India. Theories about what "really happened" to Bose range from him being a Russian prisoner in Siberia to the claim that he spent his last years hiding in India as a holy man.
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Recently declassified files of the union home ministry revealed that the family of Netaji was placed under intensive surveillance from 1948 to 1968 by the central government.
It is not known how many more classified files on him the Indian central government is in possession of. However, some analysts say that the files in Kolkata are not as important as the still-classified files in Delhi.
"Now the Centre (Delhi) has no other option but to declassify the files it has," Netaji's grandnephew and family spokesperson Chandra Kumar Bose told reporters.
The BJP government, while in opposition, had demanded that the Congress government declassify 39 files pertaining to Bose. However since coming to power it has refused to declassify the files.
The Times of India quoted a source in the prime minister's office as saying that it could "not declassify files related to Subhash Chandra Bose as it [would] adversely affect relations with foreign countries".
The central government is yet ot comment on the West Bengal government's move to declassify the files in their possession.