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Retracing the Netaji's footsteps

May 04, 2005

For Krishna Bose (left), it was a trip in search of her father-in-law and freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's foot prints when she visited Peshawar, the last post of the revolutionary leader's great escape to Kabul.

Piecing together memories of the legendary Indian National Army leader's escape to Kabul, Krishna, a parliamentarian from West Bengal, visited Peshawar on Monday and interacted with the descendents of those who helped Netaji cross over to Afghanistan in 1941.

She met Mohammad Siraj (right), son of late Abad Khan, who had hosted the legendary leader in Peshawar for five days.

Krishna was full of praise for the men from the Frontier who took risks while hosting a most wanted man like Bose and arranging for his discreet travel to Kabul, local daily The News reported.

"Netaji had asked the Congress Forward Block leader in North West Frontier Province, Syed Akbar Shah, to come to Kolkata to plan his escape via Peshawar. Akbar Shah tasked Abad Khan to accomplish the mission. Everything worked fine," she recalled.

Krishna Bose said consequently Abad Khan and others suffered imprisonment at the hands of the British who were embarrassed and angered by Netaji Bose's escape.

Sixty six-year-old Siraj also took her around Peshawar. She went to the cantonment railway station, where Netaji arrived disguised as a poor Pashtun by the Frontier Mail from Bihar.

She later visited the site of the demolished Taj Mahal Hotel, where Netaji spent a night and then went to the house in Jehangirpura where Netaji stayed.

Krishna also visited the martyrs' memorial in Qissa Khwani bazaar and the old homes of famous actors Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Shahrukh Khan.

"She was surprised to know that these popular actors belonged to Peshawar," The News quoted Siraj as saying.

After escaping from India to Afghanistan and later Germany, Bose lived in Berlin where he married an Austrian national Amelia Schankel who gave birth to his only daughter, Anita Bose.

Netaji was recently in news when the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharayar Khan in his new book 'Cricket; A Bridge of Peace' quoted a retired Brigadier as saying that he was witness to Netaji's death in a plane crash over China as he too travelled by the same plane.

Khan quoted Brigadier Habib-ur-Rehman, who also claims to be the close aide of Netaji, claimed to have travelled with Indian leader in the ill-fated plane.

Photograph: TARIQ MAHMOOD/AFP/Getty Images

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Number of User Comments: 10

Sub: Renkoji Temple Detail Address

Hi, Can anyone provide me detail address of Renkoji temple in Tokyo? Where the Subhashchandra Bose's Ash is kept. Regards, Chaitanya S. Yardi. ...

Posted by Chaitanya

Sub: Mess!

What a mess this article is! Netaji's wife was Emilie Schenkl and not Amelia Schankel. And he had no son - how can he be ...

Posted by Manoj Sharma

Sub: Netaji

Yeah, Subhash Chandra Bose was really a person who terrified the BRITISH Empire and the empire had to think over his philosophy of colonialism on ...

Posted by PRAKASH

Sub: Netaji's remains

Some old bones purported to be the mortal remains of Subhas Chandra Bose, are since 1945 with the Renkoji Temple in Tokyo. Whether fake or ...

Posted by Malaviya

Sub: Netaji's is never dead

He still lies in the heart of people like me.And i am the strong believer of this great man.I am in search of his footsteps.And ...

Posted by Naveen Raman


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