Bengal government to release Netaji files



Stressing the need to solve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced to publicise the state government files on the nationalist leader.

"Still the mystery surrounding Netaji continues to be unsolved. So whatever files we have we will declassify which may help in unravelling the mystery.

"From next Friday (September 18) the documents will be open for the public, they will be kept at the city police archive," Banerjee told mediapersons at the state secretariat.

A host of Netaji descendants and researchers have been campaigning for declassification of secret files on Netaji. The campaigners have been claiming that over 100 such files are with the central government and at least 64 files with the Bengal government.

"I don't think the documents relate to any issues concerning internal security or the like," said Banerjee claiming that she was not initially aware about their existence.

"Even we were not aware that we had such files. We believed all such files on Netaji were with the central government. Nobody before bothered or gave a thought that files on Netaji can also be with the state government.

"Going through other files we came across these documents and we decided to make them public. It is a big decision," added Banerjee.

Netaji's grand nephew and convener of Open Platform Chandra Kumar Bose welcomed the decision.

Open Platform for Netaji is a forum comprising a host of descendants of the nationalist leader and researchers steadfastly campaigning for declassification of the secret Netaji files.

"We wholeheartedly welcome the decision. It is a great decision and will pave the way in unravelling what actually happened to Netaji. I think her decision will also prompt the Centre to take a decision in this regard," Chandra Kumar told IANS.

Bureaucrats at the prime minister's office, home ministry and ministry of external affairs have so far stonewalled attempts to access the classified files that can throw light on Netaji's disappearance. - IANS