UK seeks more time to decide on declassifying Netaji files

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New Delhi, Oct 4: The UK has sought more time to decide whether to declassify the secret files in its possession on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, his family said on Sunday.

Bose's family had recently approached British authorities demanding making public all the files relating to his sudden disappearance in 1945.

Netaji

"My sister Madhuri Bose has approached the government of UK. She has already received several responses admitting that there were files on Subhas Bose but they would require more time to take a decision about the de-classification," Netaji's grandnephew Surya Kumar Bose told PTI.

Surya, who had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Berlin in April, said the Bose family will also keep asking the governments of the USA, Russia and Japan to open up the files they have on Netaji.

"In post-war India, Subhas Chandra Bose was a threat to Nehru and Patel. Hence the classified files on Subhas are of immense importance," he said.

Complimenting West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for declassifying over 60 files relating to Bose, he said it was time for the Centre to unravel the mystery and make public the information relating to Netaji.

"We do not know if all the files were opened up or some were eaten up by moths or bureaucrats. This move will certainly put pressure on the Prime Minister to open up his Pandora's box! But it would be very much more difficult for Narendra Modiji to open up all the classified Bose files," said Surya from Berlin.

Sixty four files running into nearly 13,000 pages relating Bose were declassified last month by the West Bengal government. The files showed some of his close family members were spied on in independent India but there was no clarity whether he died in an air crash in 1945 as is widely believed.

"I think Mamata Banerjee has taken a very good and welcome step in declassifying all the files in the custody of the West Bengal government. There may have been political motivation behind this very bold move but we must give her credit for doing so," said Surya.

He said Bose family will not sit quiet till the Centre declassied all the files relating to Netaji. "We shall continue the movement till sufficient pressure has been built up for the Centre to comply with our demand and the demand of the people of India," he said.

Asked when the family approached the British authorities, he did not specify but indicated it was done recently. Toeing the line adopted by the previous UPA government, Prime Minister Modi's Office in February had refused to declassify the files relating to Bose.

The PMO had in August told the Central Information Commission that it cannot declassify the files as it will adversely affect relations with foreign countries. Netaji had gone missing in 1945 and some of his family members have rejected the theory that he had died in a plane crash in Taihoku in Taiwan on August 18 that year.

PTI

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