Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday made public digital copies of 100 secret files relating to Subhash Chandra Bose on his 119th birth anniversary, which could throw some light on the controversy over his death.
The files were declassified and put on digital display at the National Archives of India (NAI) here by the Prime Minister, who pressed a button in the presence of Bose family members and Union Ministers Mahesh Sharma and Babul Supriyo.
Later, Modi and his ministerial colleagues went around glancing at the declassified files, spending over half an hour at the National Archives. He also spoke to the members of the Bose family.
The NAI also plans to release digital copies of 25 declassified files on Bose in the public domain every month.
In October last year, the Prime Minister 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 had 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 after that. The controversy had also split members of the Bose family too.
The first lot of 33 files were declassified by the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) and handed over to the NAI on December 4, last year.
Subsequently, the Ministries of Home Affairs and External Affairs too initiated the process of declassification of files relating to Bose in their respective collection which were then transferred over to the NAI, it added.
In his reaction to the declassification, Chandra Kumar Bose, spokesperson of the Bose family and grand-nephew of Subhash Chandra Bose who was present at the ceremony, said "we welcome this step by Prime Minister wholeheartedly. This is a day of transparency in India."
Earlier in day, he told PTI, "We feel that certain very important files were destroyed during the Congress regime in order to hide the truth. We have documentary evidence to understand this. So we feel that the Indian government should take steps to ensure the release of files lying in Russia, Germany, UK, USA."