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Netaji didn't die in aircrash: Mukherjee commission

Last updated on: May 17, 2006 19:58 IST
The Government on Wednesday tabled the findings of the Mukherjee Commission, which probed the alleged disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, along with its Action Taken Report in the Lok Sabha.

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The three-volume report of the Justice Mukherjee Commission, constituted during the previous National Democratic Alliance regime, was tabled by Minister of State for Home S Regupathy.

The one-man probe panel was set up under the Commission of Inquiry Act.

The Justice M K Mukherjee Commission concluded that Bose "is dead but he did not not die in the plane crash, as alleged, the ashes in the Japanese temple are not of Netaji" and " the absence of any clinching evidence a positive answer cannot be given" to the terms of reference.

The views of the government were given in an Action Taken Report along with the three-volume report of the Commission set up by the previous NDA government in 1999 to inquire into the circumstances concerning departure of Bose from Bangkok in August 1945, his reported death in an air crash and subsequent developments connected therewith.

The ATR, tabled by Minister of State for Home S Regupathy along with the panel's findings, said government has examined the Commission's report submitted to it on November 8 last year "in detail and has not agreed with the findings that -- Netaji did not die in a plane crash and the ashes in the Renkoji Temple were not of Netaji."

The Commission said that in the absence of any clinching evidence to prove that 'Bhagwanji-Gumnami Baba was Netaji, the question whether Netaji died in Faizabad (in Uttar Pradesh) on September 16, 1985 as testified by some of the witnesses, need not be answered."

In the ATR, the government incidental delay in tabling the report in Parliament "has been occasioned by time taken in translation (into Hindi), consideration of the report by the Government, its approval by the Cabinet and adjournment of Parliament" on March 22, 2006 after the first half of the budget session.

The controversy over the death of Bose had surfaced after the announcement from Tokyo on August 23, 1945 that Netaji had died in a plane crash on August 18, 1945, the Commission said observing "however, some press reports published from Tokyo and Taihoku (Taipei) had given contradictory versions". The Shah Nawaz Khan Committee, set up by the Government in 1956, to inquire into the circumstances of Netaji's death had, through a majority view concluded that Bose was killed in the plane crash.

One of its members and Netaji's elder brother Suresh Chandra Bose, had, however, given a dissenting report saying there was no plane crash that led to Netaji's death. The majority report was accepted by the government. Another committee, headed by retired Chief Justice of Punjab High Court G D Khosla, which was set up by the Government in 1970, had also concluded that Netaji had succumbed to injuries sustained in a plane crash in Taipei and that his ashes had been taken to Tokyo.

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