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Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose death mystery: Who was 'Gumnami Baba'?

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Faizabad, April 14: 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.

[Netaji's mystery: Meet people who met Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji]

Here are few things we must know about Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji:

  • Gumnami Baba, who had an uncanny resemblance with Netaji entered Uttar Pradesh via Nepal in the guise of an ascetic (sadhu) and started staying in Ram Bhavan, Faizabad, from 1983.
  • He reportedly breathed his last on September 16, 1985 in Faizabad and was cremated on Sept 18, 1985.

What Anuj Dhar revealed in his book?

  • "India`s Biggest Cover-up" by researcher Anuj Dhar mentions, "The rare black and white photograph shows the Vietnamese delegation led by their Nobel laureate leader Le Duc Tho at the first open session of the truce negotiations with an American delegation. [Interview: "On Bose death, Nehru committed the original sin"]
  • "Clearly resembling Bose with his overall contour, a bearded man with an intense look on his face is standing alongside expressionless journalists and other officials behind the Vietnamese delegation", it says.
  • The theories that claimed Netaji died in a plane crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945 were rejected by Mukherjee Commission.
  • British intelligence did not believe reports of Bose's death, but Indian officials suppressed that part of Britain's input.

Nizamuddin: Netaji's loyal driver-cum-bodyguard

  • In 2006, Nizamuddin, a 102-year-old man claiming to be Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's driver-cum-bodyguard claimed that the freedom fighter was not killed in a Taipei air crash in 1945, but died a natural death in oblivion, decades later in Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh. [Netaji's 102-year-old driver claims he died naturally in UP]
  • Nizamuddin reminisced that he met Netaji and brother Sharat Chandra Bose in 1946 over a bridge on a river in Thailand, a year after the alleged death the in air-crash.
  • Netaji allegedly told him that "Indian leaders, in collusion with the British and US governments, were playing a political game using his alleged death."
  • In 1971 in Varanasi, Nizamuddin met Swami, the Madrasi right-hand man of Netaji, who confided in him that Babu was alive and residing in oblivion in Faizabad district under the disguised of Gumnami Baba.
  • He recalled that he never doubted Swami's startling revelation, as Netaji had mastered the art of 'disguise', using it many times to hoodwink the Britishers.
  • He said his last meeting with Netaji was in Thailand. As per Swami, Netaji, who was then living as Gumnami Baba, was happy that the country had gained independence, but thought the battle had been partially lost with the nation's partition.
  • The Bengali lady who had given him shelter also passed away later in Faizabad.

[Intelligence Bureau shared Netaji's family details with Britain's MI5]

Judgment: No Aircrash, No Death

  • In 2010, Lt Manwati Arya had penned down a book called "Judgment: No Aircrash, No Death" in which it is mentioned that Bose lived as "Pardewala Baba" in Naimisharanya in Uttar Pradesh and as Gumnami Baba in Faizabad.
  • Baba's rooms allegedly contained photographs of Netaji's parents. It was said that Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi knew all about him and the District Administration in Faizabad took care to ensure the Baba's privacy.

Justice Manoj Mukherjee believes Baba was Netaji

  • Justice Manoj Mukherjee told filmmaker Amlankushum Ghosh that he "strongly believes" Gumnami Baba, the mysterious monk who lived in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, was Bose in disguise.
  • "It is my personal feeling. Don't quote me but I am 100 per cent sure that he ( the monk) is Netaji", the judge had told filmaker.
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