Author accuses West Bengal CMO for hiding Netaji files

By Anuradha Dutta, Kolkata, Jan 1 : Former journalist and author of the two books on disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Anuj Dhar on Wednesday accused the West Bengal Chief Minister's Office (CMO) for not answering the Right to Information (RTI) request seeking details of some secret files allegedly held by the state government even after 40 days have elapsed.

"I filed the complaint at the commission's office today," said Dhar on Wednesday at a press conference at the Calcutta Press Club jointly organised by the Right to Recall Group and the Open Platform for Netaji.

Dhar said that on Nov 16, 2013 he dispatched his RTI application from New Delhi.

In his application, Dhar claimed he had learned as a journalist that the West Bengal government "was holding several dozen classified files concerning Netaji," most of which "relate to the controversy surrounding Netaji's death".

The former journalist said it is quite strange that these files are still being held secret in this age and time and he has sought to know the reason for the same in his application and if the state government has any plans to declassify these files.

Chandra Kumar Bose, Netaji's grandnephew and the convener of Open Platform for Netaji said that he was "not surprised" with the CMO's inaction.

"In November last year more than 30 members of Netaji's family wrote to the honourable Chief Minister seeking her intervention in getting secret central government Netaji files declassified but her office did not even acknowledge the receipt of our letter. Our attempts to meet the CM also failed," added Bose.

Anuj Dhar further claimed that certain files with the Home Ministry that could play crucial role in unearthing the mystery behind the disappearance of Netaji have been already destroyed.

"Out of the missing files, two were titled 'Whereabouts of Subhas Bose' and were very much available when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, but are not to be found now," alleged Dhar.

The write up of 'India's Biggest Cover Up' and 'No Secrets' suspected that the files concerning Netaji are being "made to disappear" in the apprehension of regime change in 2014.

Dhar said,"In the past too, Indira Gandhi's government destroyed several valuable records, including Jawaharlal Nehru's master file on the matter."

He feared that the files held by the central government on Netaji might meet the same fate that befell the Coalgate files.

"The people and the government of West Bengal must intervene," asserted Dhar.

Dhar said he has spoken to several political parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on the subject, but have not received any assurance.

"There are people who want to see the truth behind Netaji's disappearance, even in Congress, but they have their own limitations and cannot come out in the open," he revealed.

"But it is the people who can pressurise and get the truth out of the government and it is not possible unless their is mass movement," he said.

In order to add momentum to the movement the Open Platform Group in association with The Right to Recall Group launched an SMS campaign involving common people of the state to persuade the government of West Bengal to declassify all secret files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

--IBNS (Posted on 01-01-2014)

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