Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's 117th birthday celebrations turned sour today as over 30 family members were evicted from Netaji Bhawan by the police during protests against the functioning of the Netaji Research Bureau run by two other members.
Netaji's grand-nephew Chandra Bose and 30 to 35 family members and a group of youngsters under the forum of 'Open Platform for Netaji' were protesting and shouting slogans against Professor Sugato Bose who runs the research body when police drove them away.
The protesters marched for around 6 km from Red Road to Netaji Bhawan on Elgin Road, the family's ancestral house which has a museum and also acts as a research centre on the life of the nationalist leader. Sugato and his mother Krishna Bose run the bureau.
"He (Sugato) has told us that declassification of files relating to the mysterious disappearance of Netaji in 1945 is a non-issue, but the PMO has admitted that they have secret files with them. We were protesting peacefully to demand a public statement from him on this issue when the police forced us to exit," Chandra Bose told PTI.
"They have converted Netaji Bhawan into a business venture and a political forum. So we demand that they must be thrown out," said some of Netaji's family members.
They demanded that the National Archives should take over the heritage property.
When contacted, Sugato Bose, said, "I will not comment on what a few people are saying because this is a day of national celebration. We work throughout the year on the life and work of Netaji."
Besides Sugato and his mother, the rest of Netaji's family have been demanding declassification of files relating to the Netaji mystery.
"The whole country is celebrating the birthday of our national hero Netaji, but we do not know when and how he died. The government has the answers to all these questions in the form of secret files relating to his death. Now they must release it," said Chandra Bose.
Researcher Anuj Dhar who has written three books on the Netaji mystery, said, "We have information that the West Bengal government also has more than 60 files relating to Netaji. Mamata Banerjee must first release these files and then persuade the Centre to release the files they have." When under house arrest by the British colonial administration, Netaji had escaped from India in 1941 to seek international support for freedom struggle. After organising the Indian National Army with Japanese help he went missing in 1945.
He was last seen at the Bangkok Airport on August 17 1945. The Mukherjee Commission had rejected the opinion that he died in a plane crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945.
The Prime Minister's Office had earlier refused to furnish data on documents and records it held on Netaji's disappearance, saying the disclosure would harm India's relation with foreign countries.