New Delhi, Jan. 22 (PTI): Declassified documents have claimed that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was a victim of an air crash on August 18, 1945.
Bose, whose 111th birth anniversary will be celebrated tomorrow, was sitting next to the fuel tank of a K-21 heavy bomber when it lost control and crashed, according to documents made public by the Union home ministry in response to a right to information application.
Contents of 91 documents have been put in the public domain. But the home ministry has declined to make public over 100 documents.
Mission Netaji, a Delhi-based organisation that used the right to information law to gain access to the documents, said the papers released were selective with too many missing links.
The report of the Counter-Intelligence Corps, which questioned Boses close aide Habib-ur Rahman, said the plane carrying Netaji could not gain much altitude after its take-off from Taihoku (Taipei) in Formosa (Taiwan).
Then, according to the statement attributed to Rahman, he heard an explosion, leaving the plane vibrating violently.
Rahman told the investigators that the plane in which he was accompanying Bose lost control and burst into flames after the take-off in the afternoon of August 18, 1945.
The seat Bose occupied in the aircraft was beside a petrol tank. At the time of the crash, the tank exploded, spreading the burning fuel on Boses clothing, the Counter-Intelligence Corps said in a report dated September 29, 1945.
The report stated that after the crash, Rahman found Bose lying by the plane. Rahman removed Netajis burning clothes.
Even though Bose had suffered burn injuries apart from wounds to his head and neck, he recovered sufficiently to carry on a conversation, Rahman, the deputy chief of staff in the Indian National Army, told the investigators.
Classified documents on related diplomatic correspondence, telegrams sent from the external affairs ministry to the Prime Ministers Office and select letters from Jawaharlal Nehru were also revealed.