London | A UK website set up to document evidence on the circumstances of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s death today published a letter released from Britain that indicates the freedom fighter died in a plane crash in August 1945.
According to Bosefiles.info, Lord Archibald Wavell, then Viceroy of India, informed his council of ministers on August 27, 1945 – nine days after Netaji is believed to have died in a Taipei after a plane crash – that he had initiated a probe into the death.
The website has published a copy of a letter written by former UK foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind in November 1995 to the late Lord Archer of Sandwell which said: “The Viceroy informed Ministers that he had initiated an enquiry to ascertain whether it was true that Subhas Chandra Bose had been killed in an air accident.”
Rifkind further informed Archer: “A manuscript annotation on this paper (relating to Wavell’s meeting with his ministers) dated September 4 (1945) says ‘all the indications are that this (Bose’s death) is true’.”
Rifkind was replying to an enquiry from Archer.
The response together with supporting documents were sent to Govind Talwalkar, former editor of ‘Maharashtra Times’, on November 13, 2015 by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) under the UK’s Freedom of Information Act.
Talwalkar, 91, resides in the US and has now shared the papers with Bosefiles.info, which published them today.
The official Indian government account has maintained that Netaji died when his plane crashed off Taihoku in August 1945. However, the mystery surrounding the death has continued with conflicting accounts persisting from different sections of his family.