Netaji kin snooped on till 1970

Netaji kin snooped on till 1970

As Bengal govt declassifies files, pressure mounts on Centre to follow suit

Netaji kin snooped on till 1970
The 64 files pertaining to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose declassified by the West Bengal government showed thousands of pages of confidential documents filed by intelligence agencies revealing that the government snooped on Bose’s family till as late as 1970.

The files, however, did not shed any light on the mystery surrounding the iconic leader’s death. Made public at the Kolkata Police Museum on Friday, the files will be on permanent display there.

Dating back to 1937, they are a collection of inter-office memos, reports from field agents, copies of intercepted mail, details of tapped phone calls and newspaper clippings.

The surveillance of Bose’s family, which started as he gained prominence as a Congress leader, followed by his departure to form the Forward Bloc and later, the Indian National Army, continued even after his purported death in a plane crash over Taiwan in 1947.

Netaji’s grandnephew Abhijit Roy, present at the unveiling, said the clinching factor was a state CID report from 1964 in which agents expressed doubts on whether Netaji had actually died in the crash 20 years earlier.

Spread over nearly 13,000 pages, the files give a glimpse into how intelligence agencies kept an eye on the family even after Independence.

A number of reports filed post-1947 are marked to internal security chief R N Kao, a legend in the Indian intelligence community.

Chandra Kumar Bose, another of Netaji’s grandnephews and convener of the Open Platform for Netaji, an organisation spearheading the movement to have all related files declassified, said: “We hope the Centre takes a cue from this and releases all 135 files in its possession. It’s high time the nation knew what really happened to one of India’s greatest sons.”

Modi may intervene
He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected to meet members of the Bose family in October to discuss the matter.

The family refuses to accept the Centre’s contention that the move will adversely affect India’s rapport with several countries.

They believe the government should immediately get in touch with six nations in particular — the UK, the US, Russia, China, Japan and Germany — and ask for all files pertaining to Netaji in their possession.

“We also urge the Bengal government to form a team that will include our family members to scrutinise the files,” said Bose.
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