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Netaji's death: Panel clueless

Is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose alive? No, says the Justice M.K. Mukherjee Commission, which has been probing Bose's mysterious disappearance in 1945.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 01:43 IST

Is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose alive? No, says the Justice M.K. Mukherjee Commission, which has been probing Bose's mysterious disappearance in 1945.

So, is Netaji dead? Well, can’t say that either, says the panel after a six-year-long investigation spread across Taiwan, Russia, Japan and the United Kingdom. Bose, who was known to dodge those who tailed him, seems to have done it yet again.

With the commission inconclusive on its findings, the home ministry's action-taken report is likely to recommend no further action when it tables the statement in the next session of Parliament. The Mukherjee panel, which was constituted by the previous NDA government in 1999, submitted its report to the home ministry in November last year.

Though the commission, sources said, indicated that there was no evidence to suggest that Netaji was alive, it failed to answer key questions on how he had died and where.

“If Netaji is not alive, then the obvious questions are how, when and where did he die. But the commission has given no details on these crucial issues,” said a top ministry official.

Though it is largely believed that Netaji died in air crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945, the commission has stated that according to records available with the Taiwanese government, no air crash was reported between August 15 and August 18, 1945. The report, according to officials, has turned out to be a “damp squib” and there is no further action that can possibly be recommended.

The commission, sources added, had also observed that India intelligence agencies refused to share some documents with the panel on the ground that these were “highly sensitive”. During its visit to Russia, the report added, the commission had not been allowed to access some important documents in a Moscow archive.

Before the Mukherjee Commission, the Shah Nawaz Commission and the Khosla Commission were formed to look into one of the greatest mysteries of our times.

However, after the latest report, the government will not be keen to set up another panel.