Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grand niece Madhuri Bose, who flew to Pakistan on Monday, plans to trace the family of ex-INA soldier and Netaji's trusted aide, Lieutenant Colonel Habibur Rahman, a survivor of the alleged plane crash that killed Netaji in 1945.
The human rights lawyer Bose's trip comes days ahead of the declassification of secret government files that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has committed to implement from January 23, 2016, Netaji’s birth anniversary.
Apparently, Rahman was in the aircraft that ostensibly crashed at Taipei on August 18, 1945. He was in the hospital where Netaji is supposed to have died.
“I am going to Islamabad to attend a friend’s wedding. We are trying to trace Habibur’s family who lived in Pakistan. His son is apparently no longer alive. Something interesting about Netaji’s disappearance may emerge if we can trace the family and talk to them,” Madhuri Bose told Millennium Post before leaving for Islamabad.
Though Rahman, who joined the Pakistan Army after the INA surrendered to Allied Forces, was interrogated several times by the British but he never wavered from his story that Netaji died in a hospital after suffering major burns in the crash.
Many experts believe that Lt Col Rahman was following Netaji's orders and was under an oath of secrecy.
The Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry (which submitted its report in 2006) however said that Bose did not die in the Taipei crash in August 1945, the official stand of the government so far.
This was the last inquiry commission on Bose’s disappearance mystery.
The Bose family meanwhile is still divided over Netaji’s death mystery.
While Netaji’s grand nephews Chandra Kumar Bose, Abhijit Ray, Madhuri Bose have always questioned the crash theory, Netaji’s nephew Sisir Bose and wife Krishna Bose earlier approved of Rahman’s version of Bose’s death by accident.
Rahman, who eventually moved to Pakistan, joined the Army and led a war against India for liberation of Kashmir.
“We have requested the High Commission to help us track Habibur’s family in Pakistan. We are hopeful,” said Netaji’s grand nephew Chandra Kumar Bose.
Rahman, according to Netajis family members, had come back to meet Netaji’s elder brother Sarat Bose at their 38/2 Elgin Avenue house in Kolkata in August 1946 and apparently related the “crash” story. There were few takers though.