The West Bengal government declassified 64 closely-guarded files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at an event at a police museum in Kolkata on Friday.
"Today is a historic day. Our government has made all Netaji files public. People have a right to know about the brave son of India," chief minister Mamata Banerjee said in a tweet.
People will, however, not immediately have direct access to the document. The common people can access the content from Monday (September 21).
"[For now]...public will get to see the original files that will be kept in a glass case," Kolkata plice commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha said.
"There are 12,744 pages in total in these files. All have been digitised. It was quite a stupendous task."
Purkayastha handed over the first DVD containing information in the files to Krishna Bose, wife of Netaji's nephew and aide Sisir Bose at the police academy in north Kolkata.
Journalists at the Kolkata police academy where the Netaji files are on display. (Soumen Datta/HT Photo)
The programme began at 10.20am and lasted 30 minutes. It was attended by Bose family members, researchers and mediapersons. Tight security was in place to manage a big crowd that never turned up.
Bose's family members and researchers have repeatedly maintained the secret files lying in Delhi are of significance, as they contain the answer to the key questions on the disappearance of the firebrand leader and the subsequent years. The Centre has 130 files.
Of the 64 files declassified on Friday, nine belonged to the Intelligence Branch and the other 55 to the Kolkata police special branch (intelligence wing). All were stored in an office on Lord Sinha Road in south Kolkata.
Surprisingly, Kolkata's response was lukewarm, although the issue hogged media limelight since chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced just a week ago (on September 11) that her administration will bring the files in public domain.
HT spoke to students of a few prominent colleges in the city on Thursday evening. While there was some amount of curiosity, none said they would visit the museum and pore over the files.|
Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee reads the digitised Netaji files that were declassified on Friday. (Soumen Datta/HT Photo)