|Monday, 7 February 2005|
Indian freedom fighter Bose not killed in plane crash: judge
CALCUTTA, India, Sunday (AFP)
A retired judge inquiring into the mysterious disappearance of afamed Indian freedom fighter said Saturday there was no evidence to support the theory Subhash Chandra Bose had died in a 1945 plane crash in Taiwan.
Bose, also known as "Netaji" (leader), was president of the Congress party and founded the Indian National Army (INA) to fight British colonial forces.
He led a failed attack on colonial India from the tiny northeastern state of Nagaland and later reportedly died in a plane crash at Taihoku airport in Taiwan. But former Supreme Court judge, Manoj Mukherjee, who was appointed by the government to conduct an inquiry into Bose's disappearance, said "there is no record" that Bose was killed in the plane crash on August 18, 1945.
At least two earlier commissions have held that the freedom fighter died in the accident. The new commission was appointed a couple of years ago after Bose supporters demanded the case be reopened.
"The Taiwanese government has shown me documents that there was no record of (a) plane crash in Taiwan between August 14 and September 20, 1945," Mukherjee, who recently visited Taiwan, told AFP.
"I have verified the documents. They have promised to send the documents to India within a fortnight," the judge added.The plane theory has also been disputed recently by an Indian visiting professor to Saint Petersburg University, Purabi Roy.
Roy, who is also working on Bose's disappearance, said: "Documents available at Russian archives indicate that Bose was not killed in the crash."
The researcher also disputed that Bose's remains were kept in a casket at Renkojit temple in Tokyo. According to recorded history, Bose was arrested by British forces on July 2, 1940 for his activities and put under house arrest in Calcutta.
However, on January 16, 1941, he escaped and fled to Moscow on an Italian passport from where he went to Berlin and raised the INA with the support of Indian prisoners of war.
In October 1943, he left Germany to reach Tokyo before continuing on to Singapore.
On October 23, 1943, he formed an interim Indian independent government in Singapore and declared war against the British colonial forces in India. Leading the newly-formed INA, Bose entered Kohima, capital of Nagaland, on March 19, 1944 and unfurled the national flag but had to retreat after a British army offensive.
On August 18, 1945, it was reported that Bose had been killed in a plane crash in Taiwan.
Neither Mukherjee nor Roy have offered alternative theories as to the circumstances of his death.
Produced by Lake House