Netaji's mystery: Meet people who met Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji
Bengaluru, Sept 8: As the mystery shrouds the death of the prominent Indian freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, there have been many reports that suggest the revolutionary and the founder of Azad Hind Fauz (AHF) spent his last days living in disguise in Faizabad, near Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
Gumnami Baba was a mysterious Indian monk who in 1985 lived at Ram Bhawan in Faizabad near Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. Though his real identity and activities remained obscure, a great number of people maintain that he was freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
According to a TOI report, some people, who got a chance to meet Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji, an ascetic, have come forward to reveal their encounters with the Netaji. [Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose death mystery: Who was 'Gumnami Baba'?]
Let's take a look at what these people know about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose:
Surajit Dasgupta: 64-year old Surajit Dasgupta told TOI that he could never forget the moment when he first saw Bhagwanji in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Dasgupta recollected that Bhagwanji alias Netaji used to communicate with his visitors, with a short curtain drawn to hide his face.
He also recalled that after two-three days, when Bhagwanji had a trust on same visitors, then he stopped drawing a curtain between him and those visitors.
When Dasgupta saw Bagwanji face to face, he immediately became sure that he was none other than Netaji, the man who was reportedly dead!
He was quoted saying as, "There was no mistaking it was Netaji. His hair had thinned, much more than what we were used to seeing in his photographs. He had a flowing beard. But the features were exactly the same. Only, he had aged. The eyes were so powerful I had to turn away immediately."
Bijoy Nag: 76-year-old Bijoy Nag is a former auditor at a private firm. He was 31-year-old when he first met Bhagwanji, who was behind the curtain. Between 1970 to 1985, he met Bhagwanji 14 times.
On Bhagwanji's request, he collected and delivered photographs of Netaji's mother, father and school teacher.
Pabitra Mohan Roy: Pabitra Mohan Roy was an INA secret service agent, who told Lila about Bhagwanji in December 1962.
Atul Sen: Atul Sen was an associate of Netaji, who met Bhagwanji at Neemsar in April 1962. When he returned to Kolkata in the same year, he disclosed about Netaji to Pabitra Mohan Roy and historian RC Majumdar.
Sen even broke the news to the then PM Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, in a letter, that Netaji was alive.
On Netaji's insistence, Sen had contested the legislative seat from Dhaka in 1930s and had won.
Sunil Gupta: Sunil Gupta was assigned a task to keep a watch on all the rumuors and news related to Netaji's return to India, by Netaji's elder brother Suresh Chandra Bose.
Sunil Gupta first met Netaji at Neemsar in 1962. As a close associate of Netaji, Gupta had been secretly visiting him for last 20 years.
He used to meet him on special occasions like Durga Puja and his birthday on Jan 23. In 1982, Gupta accompanied Dasgupta to Faizabad to meet Bhagwanji.
Leela Roy: Leela Roy was Nag's aunt, who was in constant touch with Netaji between 1922 and Jan 1941. She passed away in 1970. From 1963 to the time she died, she used to send money and useful items to him every month through emissaries.
Rita Banerjee: Bhagwanji used to call Rita as Phoolwa Rani and her husband as Bachha. Rita said that she could not see him eye-to-eye as his aura was so intense.
Gyani Gurjeet Singh Khalsa: He is the chief priest of Gurdwara Brahamakund Sahib and saw Bhagwanji when he was 17-year-old.
Saraswati Devi: She used to cook for Netaji and his visitors.