Sunday, June 04, 2017

‘Netaji RTI reply was based on 2006 Cabinet decision’

Sunday Guardian: New Delhi: Sunday, June 04, 2017.
With the Ministry Of Home Affairs clarifying on the issue of the mystery surrounding the death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, the Gumnami Baba theory is all set to hog the limelight. Following uproar over the Ministry’s RTI reply on the issue, which said Bose died in a plane crash in 1945, Ministry spokesperson Kuldeep Dhatwalia issued a clarification: “RTI reply given by CPIO was based on May 2006 Cabinet decision. Any other credible inputs would be examined.”
The MHA had earlier said in response to a query under the RTI Act that “After considering the reports of Shahnawaz Committee, Justice G.D. Khosla Commission and Justice Mukherjee Commission of Enquiry, the Government has come to the conclusion that Netaji has died in a plane crash in 1945.”
The reply created an uproar with a large section of people feeling that the reply does not truly reflect the government’s considered view on the matter. This, according to those who have been fighting to unravel the mystery surrounding Netaji’s death, is in contradiction to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resolve to bring out the truth.
However, after Dhatwalia’s clarification, it has become clear that the BJP-led NDA dispensation is “doubting” the plane crash theory, which has so far been propagated by successive Congress regimes. According to sources, some new facts may come to light after the Justice Vishnu Sahai Commission submits its report on the Gumnami Baba controversy later this year. The Sahai Commission was set up by the Uttar Pradesh government to ascertain the identity of Gumnami Baba on pure facts and evidences. Sources said the RTI reply has been issued by a middle level bureaucrat, who may not have classified information about the mystery. “Even the Home Minister may not be aware of what is being replied. The officer responsible for replying to the RTI must have merely written what is written on the government files, which have been declassified,” said a source.
Speaking to this newspaper, Chandra Kumar Bose, grand nephew of Netaji, said: “The RTI reply is not correct. It’s a bogus reply. It is based on documents which have been rejected. It’s a manipulative reply. The Mukherjee Commission has clearly stated that Netaji did not die in the plane crash,” he said, adding: “I have demanded action against the officer responsible for this idiotic reply on such a sensitive issue.”
Bose, who is also the West Bengal BJP vice president, said he has also demanded that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) be set up on the issue. “The Central government must take a holistic approach to solve the mystery. It can be done through the SIT,” he added. Anuj Dhar, who has done extensive research on Netaji, said: “I think the PM is doing something. Something is happening at the government level. I feel the truth will come out. Not all files have been declassified. Intelligence files have not even been touched.” As per Dhar’s research, Netaji did not die in the plane crash.
The reply by the Ministry said: “Some information regarding Gumnami Baba and Bhagwanji is available in Mukherjee Commission report on page 114-122. This report is available in The Mukherjee Commission had come to the conclusion that Gumnami Baba/Bhagwanji was not Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Ministry of Home Affairs has declassified all available files (37) related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.” The RTI petition was filed by Sayak Sen of Open Platform for Netaji. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in a statement: “I am shocked to see this unilateral decision of the Central government without evidence. Netaji is a great son of the soil. Of course, the country and the whole world are proud of him. Any matter involving a person of his stature does not deserve to be handled in such a casual manner. I have drawn the attention of Hon’ble Prime Minister and has sought the considered stand of the Central government in this regard.”