Did Subhas Chandra Bose spend his days as a sadhu in Cooch Behar and then die in Dehra Dun in 1977? It is possible, say four findouters who claim to have new evidence about Netaji’s stay in independent India.
When Justice MK Mukherjee tabled his report in May on the disappearance of Bose, he had mentioned the Dehradun story as one of the five versions that gained currency about Bose’s life post 1945. A swami resembling Netaji had spent about 13 years in West Bengal’s Coochbehar district before arriving in Dehra Dun in 1973. He settled there and died in 1977.
Taking the lead from this story, four “independent investigators” — retired CBI inspector OP Sharma, retired colonel BS Rawat, journalist Devendra Bhasin and RS Sharma, a former official of the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration — researched about the ascetic, interviewing people who knew him and collecting photographs and letters.
Justice Mukherjee had dismissed the Dehradun version, but the quartet have urged the Centre to order a fresh probe and analyse the evidence collected.
OP Sharma said people addressed the ascetic who lived at Rajpur, Dehradun, as “Netaji”. “Many INA members used to visit him. Uttam Chand Malhotra, with whom Netaji had stayed in Kabul after escaping from Calcutta was a frequent visitor,” said Bhasin.
The four claimed that eyewitness recount the sadhu’s last rites being performed with state honours.
Until proven true, this will be another skein in the web of mystery