An organisation of researchers working on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's life and ideals on Tuesday termed as a "factual fallacy" Pakistani former foreign secretary Shahryar Khan's comments that there was no doubt the revolutionary died in a plane crash in Taiwan in 1945.
"Even the Taiwanese government said there were no reports of any plane crash on Aug 18, 1945, the date on which some people have claimed all these years that the accident occurred," Netaji Chetna Mancha (NCM) general secretary Jayanta Chowdhury said in a statement in Kolkata.
Chowdhury said Indian National Army (INA) Brigadier Habib-ur Rehman, the only associate of Netaji on that fateful flight, said in 1953 that there was no plane crash in Taiwan that day. "As per plans laid down by Netaji, Rehman had time and again spoken about the plane crash to mislead the British".
Chowdhury cited top secret British documents for his claim that Bose had gone underground.
Writing in the Friday Times, Shahryar Khan said, "I have no reason to doubt Habib-ur-Rehman's story of Bose's death, and I believe it ought to put to rest many of the theories (and conspiracy theories) regarding the death of the charismatic Indian nationalist leader."
Bose, one of the heroes of India's struggle for independence from British rule, fled from India and with help from Japan led the INA in battle against the British in northeast India and Myanmar.
The reports of his 'death' in the plane crash have been disputed by many, and the Indian government had established three commissions to unearth the truth.
Chowdhury had deposed before the Manoj Mukherjee Commission, the most recent of the three.