A UK website set up to catalogue the last days of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on Sunday claimed that his gold-plated tooth is likely to be found in his last remains held at Renkoji Temple in Tokyo.
Bose’s trusted aide de camp Colonel Habibur Rehman, who was involved in the same air crash that is believed to have killed Bose in Taiwan on August 18, 1945, had told his son he had dropped the tooth in the urn containing Netaji’s ashes when he went to collect the remains after the cremation.
It had apparently been extracted before the body entered the furnace and given to him by one of the officials associated with the last rites, www.bosefiles.info claimed on Sunday.
The Netaji Papers declassified by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 23 confirm that the creator of the website, Ashis Ray, brought the matter to the attention of former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao, leader of the opposition Atal Bihari Vajpayee and West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, among other Indian political leaders in 1995.
Colonel Rehman passed away in 1978, leaving the information, among other details, with son Naeemur.
Rehman junior shared what his father had told him with Ray when the latter met him in Islamabad in the 1990s in course of his investigation of the tragedy.
In turn, Ray brought the disclosure to the notice of Rao, Vajpayee, Jyoti Basu, President of Janata Dal SR Bommai and General Secretary of the Forward Bloc Chitta Basu.
File G-16(3)/95-NGO in the Netaji Papers, released by the Indian government, reveal Ray wrote to all five on 11 August 1995.
In it he said Colonel Rehman had “put a gold-plated tooth belonging to Netaji (Subhas Bose) given to him by Japanese officials after the cremation in the urn containing the ‘ashes’”.
In the same letter, Ray informed the leaders that in course of his probe he had visited “the son of Colonel Habibur Rahman”.
“The veracity of Naeemur Rehman’s claim can easily be determined by a scan of the urn. The existence of an un-cremated tooth will virtually guarantee success of a DNA test,” he said.
Another telling piece of information provided by Rehman junior to Ray was that his father was devastated by people in India disbelieving his story about Bose perishing in the tragedy and the remains at Renkoji Temple being his – which Colonel Rehman had carried from Taipei to Tokyo.
Naeemur further disclosed to Ray that his father, because of the suspicion with which his testimony to the Shah Nawaz Khan Netaji Inquiry Committee in 1956 was received by Bose’s followers and relatives, refused to come to Delhi from Islamabad to appear before the Justice G D Khosla Commission in the early 1970s.
“Why would I lie?” Colonel Rehman is said to have told his son.