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Mukherjee Comm Report ''inconclusive, indecisive and ambiguous''

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 24 (UNI) Terming the Justice Mukherjee Commission report as ''inconclusive, indecisive and ambiguous,'' the government tonight trashed its findings, asserting that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose died in the plane crash in Formosa on August 18, 1945.

Replying to a Short-Duration Discussion on the issue, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said there was no reason for the government to prefer the report of the Commission to the earlier inquiries done by the Shahnawaz Committee and the Justice Khosla Commission.

In his hour-long submission, the Minister also wanted to know had Netaji been alive, ''what had prevented him from coming to India in 1945 or after Independence.'' He said that the government had decided to confer the Bharat Ratna award on him posthumously in order to perpetuate his memory but it was resisted by some people and the idea could not materialise.

Describing Netaji as the darling of the masses and of patriots of all shades of opinion, Mr Patil said that the government would do everything possible for keeping alive the legacy of one of the greatest Indians.

He said that the Mukherjee Commission was ''indecisive'' on all the vital issues including the plane crash and the whereabouts of Netaji, saying it did not possess clinching evidence on these counts.

''How can you expect the government to expect to accept this report which has come 60 years after the death of Netaji, and how can you expect the government not to accept the Shahnawaz Committee Report which came soon after the great leader's death,'' he said.

About the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai making a statement in Parliament in 1978 that there were certain documentary evidences which created doubts on the fact of the plane crash, Mr Patil said such a statement could have been ''motivated not by reasons of law, but reasons of politics.'' ''Mr Desai could have constituted an Inquiry Commission himself and asked for those documents from the previous government,'' he said, adding that there are no documents with the government concerning the death of Netaji.

Mr Patil said one could not ignore the testimony of Habib-ur-Rehman, the close lieutenant of Netaji, who was with him in the plane that crashed.

About the Khosla Commission, he said it was headed by a retired judge and was set up under the Commissions of Inquiry Act. The Commission did visit the site of the plane crash and also the temple in Tokyo where the ashes of Netaji are kept.

''For the government, there is no reason not to accept the Khosla Commission report in preference to the Mukherjee comission report, which is indecisive and ambiguous,'' Mr Patil asserted.

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