Did Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose ride a Britain-made Baby Austin that was found abandoned in a warehouse in Jharkhand recently? That the great leader rode the car is part of local folklore, but his family members are sceptical.
The car, after it was spotted at Barari Coke Plant, has been parked at Bharat Coking Coal Limited's guest house at Koylanagar on the instructions of its chairman and managing director TK Lahiri.
BCCL spokesman RR Prasad said, "The 1920 model car bears registration number BRR 3201. We are in search of an authentic proof of the registration and other details of the car."
He said unless it was confirmed the great leader had used the car, it would be "unwise" to restore and refurbish it as an object of historical value.
Netaji's grandnephew Sugata Bose, a Trinamool Congress MP, made an equally cautious statement.
"It is difficult to confirm whether he used the car, but he had gone to England in the 1920s," Bose said, adding most journeys made by Netaji were undisclosed and find little mention in the history.
Local residents, however, claim having heard from elders that Netaji used the car during his visit to Barari coalmines, where he was actively involved in trade union activities during the 1930s and '40s.
He had served as president of Tata Workers Union at India's first steel plant set up in Jamshedpur. His uncle Ashok Bose worked with a coal company.
It is also believed that he rode the same car to Gomoh railway junction, 30km from Dhanbad, from Kolkata before making the epic escape to Germany.