New Delhi | Days ahead of assembly elections in West Bengal, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma today released the second tranche of 50 declassified files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose even as he asserted that the move is not linked with politics.
The files, which will be available online, consist of 10 files each from the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) and the Home Ministry and 30 files from the External Affairs Ministry pertaining to the period 1956 to 2009. Keeping with our promise of making pubic the secret files on Netaji, we are releasing the set of 50 declassified files today. This will further meet the continued public demand to access these files and also facilitate scholars to carry out further research on the doyen of the freedom movement, he said.
The second batch of 50 declassified files relating to Bose are now available on the web portal www.netajipapers.gov.in. Asked about any political motive of releasing the files at a time when West Bengal is gearing up for assembly election, he said this (declassifying of files) should not be linked with politics.
The government had announced it would release 25 declassified files on Netaji, much before the announcement of dates for the election. Assembly elections in West Bengal will be held in six phases on April 4 and 11 (under Phase one), 17, 21, 25, 30 and May 5. Sharma said the government will keep its promise of releasing set of 25 declassified files every month.
As many as hundred secret files, ranging from those from the British Raj to as late as 2007, were made public by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Netaji’s 119th birth anniversary on January 23. In October last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met the family members of Netaji and announced that the government would declassify the files relating to the leader whose disappearance 70 years ago remains a mystery.
While two commissions of inquiry had concluded that Netaji died in a plane crash in Taipei on August 18, 1945, a third probe panel, headed by Justice M K Mukherjee, had contested it and suggested that Bose was alive.