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‘Subhas Bose unquestionably died in plane crash, dishonour that his remains have not been brought to India’

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By Saket Suman

New Delhi, Feb 5: A new book on the death of Subhas Chandra Bose — with a foreword by Boses daughter Anita Bose Pfaff — presents an entire “gamut of documentary evidence” to suggest that Netaji perished as a result of a plane crash at Taipei on August 18, 1945. Its author, Ashis Ray, claimed that the remains at Tokyo’s Renkoji temple are his and that it is a dishonour that his remains have not been brought to India even after 72 years since his death.

“There is no mystery, only a lingering and needless controversy. Subhas Bose unquestionably died as a result of a plane crash in Taipei on 18 August 1945. Eleven different official and unofficial investigations — brought together in my book for the first time — re-confirm this. The mortal remains preserved at Tokyo’s Renkoji temple are undoubtedly his. It is incredible dishonour and disrespect to the memory of a great son of India that his remains have not been brought to India even after 72 years since his death,” Ashis Ray, the author of upcoming “Laid To Rest” told IANS in an email interview from London.

In the book, Ray, who has been a foreign correspondent for 40 years, working mainly for BBC and CNN, mentions that he was well-acquainted with former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and was “able to encourage moves on his part and in effect action by the Government of India” to bring home the remains of Netaji. Elaborating on this, he maintained that Rao too was certain that Netaji had died in the plane crash.

“Narasimha Rao did not have the slightest doubt that the story of the plane crash was true and that the ashes at Renkoji temple were Subhas Bose’s. He was wary of opposition to the ashes being brought to India from Forward Bloc, BJP and a section of Bose’s extended family — and he was, don’t forget, running a minority government in parliament which was dependent on opposition support. But he sent Pranab Mukherjee, then external affairs minister, to visit the temple and meet Bose’s widow Emilie Schenkl in Germany,” added Ray.

However, the Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry (JMCI) report suggested that the story of Bose’s death in a plane crash was “nothing but a smokescreen” and was rejected by the then UPA government in 2006, which maintained that the “the Commission’s inquiry was inconclusive in many ways, unable to provide a definitive finding on several issues and at variance with past well accepted Inquiry Commissions’ findings in some critical areas”.

“I have some sympathy for Justice Manoj Mukherjee because he was hamstrung by none of the survivors of the plane crash being alive to give evidence when he undertook his inquiry. But I obviously don’t agree with his finding that Subhas Bose did not die as a result of a plane crash at Taipei. The government’s reaction to the report was by no means hasty. It was prompt and proper,” he quipped.

Ray maintained that even though the Narendra Modi-led NDA government has declassified all Government of India files on Subhas Bose, the ruling dispensation has not overturned Singh’s verdict on the Mukherjee Commission report. “This ratified what I have been maintaining since the mid-1990s – that Subhas Bose died as a result of a plane crash at Taipei on 18 August 1945. Having accessed the facts, Modi realised Manmohan Singh’s verdict on the Mukherjee Commission report was correct and didn’t overturn it,” he said.

“All governments in India have so far proved to be cowardly on the issue of bringing Subhas Bose’s ashes to India. The BJP tried to distance itself from the RTI reply. There are no new facts, other than what are cited in my book, which merely reinforce the truth.

“The matter of bringing Subhas Bose’s mortal remains has got caught up in politics; and the attitude of a section of Subhas Bose’s extended family has been unhelpful to Professor Anita Pfaff. I believe the Government of India has a moral and legal obligation to honour Pfaff’s wishes. My information – as elaborated in the book – is the Japanese government is unlikely to object to the remains coming to India,” concluded Ray.

The book, “Laid To Rest” is published by Rolli Books and will be launched on February 12 at Bikaner House in the capital.

IANS

(Saket Suman can be contacted at [email protected])

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Barricades to open on Jan 26 as police allow Tractor Rally

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The Delhi Police on Sunday said that after several round of talks with the farmers groups, it has permitted the tractor rally inside Delhi on January 26.

Police has said that the barricades would be lifted at Singhu, Tikri and Gazipur borders on January 26 after the Republic Day parade is over and the farmers would be allowed to enter upto 100 kilometers within Delhi with their tractors in a circular path on the routes discussed with the farmers.

The route specified is from Singhu Border to Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar, Kanjhawala, Bawana to Auchadi. From Tikri border, it will be to Nangloi, Najafgarh, Jharoda, Dhansa, Badli and the KMP and from Gazipur border to Apsara border to Hapur Road.

“We have told the farmers that the rally would start once the Republic Day parade is over. We expect with the cooperation of the farmers the rally would be peaceful,” Special Commissioner of Police, Intelligence, Deependra Pathak, said.

However, the police said that they are on alert after intelligence inputs that various Twitter handles operating from across the border are active to disrupt the rally on January 26.

“According to our intelligence input, 308 Twitter handles have been generated from Pakistan to disrupt the rally to create disturbance. We are also concerned about the security of the rally given the threat perception,” he added.

Meanwhile, several batches of farmers from Punjab and Haryana set out on their tractor-trolleys and other vehicles to take part in the proposed tractor rally on January 26 in the national capital. Tractor-trolleys have now become a common sight at the Singhu border as the farmers have started bringing in the tractors to the protest site from villages in Punjab for the proposed rally.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states have been protesting at multiple border points of Delhi at Singhu, Tikri and Gazipur borders since November-end. They are demanding a repeal of the three central farm laws passed by Parliament in September last year.

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Soldier injured in Pak ceasefire violation succumbs

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An Army soldier injured in a ceasefire violation by Pakistan on the Line of Control in J&K’s Rajouri district, succumbed to his injuries on Sunday.

An Indian Army statement said, “Pakistan Army had resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation on the LoC in Sunderbani sector of J&K on January 18 which was responded to strongly by our own troops.”

“In the incident, Naik Nishant Sharma of 10 JAK RIF was critically injured and was under treatment at the command hospital.

“Today the soldier succumbed to injuries. Naik Nishant Sharma was a brave, highly motivated and sincere soldier. The nation will always remain indebted to him for his supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty.”

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CBI arrests labour official in TN in bribery case

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 The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said on Sunday that it had arrested a Regional Labour Commissioner on the charge of demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 30,000.

P Sivarajan, posted as Regional Labour Commissioner (Central) in Madurai, was held along with a private person N Murali after the CBI laid a trap on Saturday and caught them with the bribe amount.

A case was registered after a complaint that Sivarajan was demanding undue advantage from Murali, representing a private company, for issuing labour licence.

Searches were conducted at five places in Chennai and Madurai (Tamil Nadu), including the residence and offices of the accused, said the CBI.

Both the accused were produced in the court of Principal Special Judge for CBI cases, Chennai, and remanded to judicial custody till February 4.

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