In what could be deemed as the official take on the controversy surrounding the 'death' of freedom fighter Subhas Chandra Bose, government documents show that though he was in the ill-fated plane that crashed on August 18, 1945, he survived.
Anuj Dhar had sought papers related to the death of Bose from the union ministry of home affairs under the Right to Information Act. In reply, Dhar got the report (Exhibit Com 6 B), filed by the Counter Intelligence Corps, GHQ; AFPAC dated September 29, 1945.
Counter Intelligence Corps had questioned Habibur Rahman Khan, former deputy chief of the staff and aide de camp to Bose, to find out the truth. Khan was accompanying Bose in the K-21 heavy bomber aircraft on August 18, 1945.
According to Khan, the plane carrying Netaji, after its take off from Taihoku (Taipei) in Formosa (Taiwan), had not gained much altitude when he heard a terrific explosion leaving the plane "vibrating violently".
Khan stated that after the plane crash he noticed his own coat afire. He removed it immediately, and then saw Bose lying by the plane with his clothing on fire, whereupon he went to the aid of Bose and removed his burning clothing.
He added that the seat Bose occupied in the aircraft was beside a petrol tank. At the time of the crash, the tank exploded, spreading the burning fuel on Bose's clothing.
Khan, according to the declassified document, told the investigators that soon vehicles from the airfield came to the crash site and removed all persons to the Japanese Military Hospital (Rikugun Biychin) in Taihoku, where they received medical treatment. It was later determined that Bose received "serious injuries about the head and neck in addition to his severe burns".
Bose recovered sufficiently to carry on a conversation and complained of the pain in his head and asked him to request that the medical authorities check his blood pressure, according to Khan.
Contents of 91 documents have been put in public domain while the home imnistry has declined to do so in respect of over 100 documents.
Bose was born on January 23, 1897, and Wednesday is his 111th birth anniversary.