New Delhi, Oct 1: The alleged ashes of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose were preserved at Renkoji Temple in Japan in a small box which seemed to be either made of tin or wood, according to declassified files on the freedom fighter released on Friday.
Replying to an RTI application in a letter, dated March 2, 2007, on 'ashes and other remains of Netaji', Ministry of External Affairs Additional Secretary Ajai Choudhry said the box was kept in a cupboard in the premises of Renkoji temple and taken out and placed between two candles when visitors desired to see it.
"According to the reports from the Indian Mission in Tokyo, the ashes were preserved in small box of about 9 inch by 6 inch which seem to be either made of tin or wood," he said. According to the information available on the government files, he said the chief priest of Renkoji temple had written to then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru November 23, 1953 that he had been keeping the ashes of Netaji since September 18, 1945.
He said an understanding was also reached that the alleged ashes of Netaji would remain in the Renkoji Temple until the Indian government take a decision in that regard. Culture Secretary N K Sinha on Friday released online the 8th batch of 25 declassified files which pertained to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) from 1951 to 2006.
The first lot of 100 files related to Netaji were put in the public domain by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 23 on the occasion of the freedom fighter's 119th birth anniversary. The second lot of 50 files was released in March and 25 files each were put in public domain in the subsequent months.
The disappearance of Netaji 70 years ago still remains a mystery with two Commissions of Inquiry concluding that he had died in a plane crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945, while a third probe panel, headed by Justice M K Mukherjee, had contested it and suggested that Bose had survived the crash.