British, Indian authorities disbelieved Netaji aide-de-camp’s claims

Kolkata, Feb 11 (IANS) Rubbishing a British website’s revelations asserting that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose perished in a plane crash in 1945, author-researcher Anuj Dhar has claimed that even the British and Indian authorities disbelieved the main witness of the alleged crash.

While the theory of Netaji’s death in a plane crash is mostly based on accounts given by his aide-de-camp Lt. Col. Habibur Rahman Khan, Dhar citing documents available at the National Archives in New Delhi says both the British and Indian security officials who cross-examined him disbelieved Khan.

“The crash theory is mainly based on the accounts given by Rahman, supported by contradictory statements of a few Japanese. But according to documents, the officials who cross-examined Rahman found several loopholes in his claims and did not buy the crash theory,” Dhar, whose 2012 book “India’s biggest cover-up” triggered the demand of the declassification of the Netaji files, told IANS.

“IB Deputy Director W. McK Wright who led the probe into Bose’s reported death, on March 25, 1946, was informed by Colonel G.D. Anderson, who had supervised Rahman’s interrogation at the Red Fort, that even after months, Rahman still adhered to his earlier attitude of ingenuous denial,” says Dhar.

“Even if Rahman was in the know of Bose’s plans, he would not disclose them. His manner is not very convincing. He talks in a secretive way even if no one is about,” reads a hand-written note by interrogating officer Major Hyat Khan to Anderson, that was accessed by Dhar.

Prompted by Anderson’s report, a re-interrogation of Rahman was carried out by Capt. Habibullah Malik.

Malik in his report wrote: “Throughout the protracted questioning, resentment was visible from B1269’s (Rahman’s) face and he made no bones about it.”

“The results obtained are far from satisfactory and do not take us much further from the original position,” reads the report by Malik.

Dhar says that after Rahman was released, he was questioned at length by ace lawyer and Bose’s elder brother Sarat Bose, who then made a public statement that “Rahman had orders from Netaji to come out with a fake story”.

Referring to the documents suggesting the authorities disbelief of Rahman as well as the Justice Mukherjee Commission which debunkd the air-crash theory, Dhar questioned the claims made by the London website set up to catalogue the last days of the nationalist leader.

“At a time when the Narendra Modi government has begun the process of declassifying Netaji files and also has been urging foreign governments to follow suit, the motive behind the claims by the website needs to be questioned,” asserts Dhar.

Describing the revelations as “trite, hackneyed and even misleading”, Dhar along with a section of Bose family members have been questioning the motive of the website which incidentally has been set up by Netaji’s grandnephew Ashish Ray.

Citing testimonies of two Japanese doctors and a Taiwanese nurse who treated Bose, his personal interpreter and Habibur Rahman, the has been ascribing to the plane crash theory.

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