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West Bengal government to declassify Netaji files


Kolkata:  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today announced that 64 files on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose lying with the state’s Home Department would be declassified and put in public domain from next Friday.

Acknowledging that there was a long-standing demand for the declassification of the files on Bose, Banerjee said there might be one or two more files in the possession of the government.

“A total 64 files are there with us. There may be one or two more files also. After properly reviewing all the files, we have decided to put them in the public domain from next Friday,” she said.

“We decided to release the files so that everybody can see them. We don’t feel that there is anything related to internal security in the files. Everybody wants to know about what happened to Netaji. He was a brave son of our soil and he was from Bengal,” she said.

Asked if the state would request the Centre to declassify files it has in its possession, Banerjee said, “It is for the Centre to decide, but we want the truth about Netaji to come out. It is for you people (journalists) to find out what happened to him.”

The Chief Minister also announced that the record of the freedom struggle from 1937 to 1947 would be digitised in order to preserve history.

Asked whether the files to be declassified can throw any clue about the alleged snooping on Netaji’s nephew by the central government from 1948 to 1968, Banerjee said, “You have the options. It is better for you to go through the files to get the answers.”

Recently, some files relating to Bose, declassified by the central government, had revealed that the Ministry of Home Affairs had snooped on at least two of Netaji’s nephews.

The files revealed that the Intelligence Bureau had kept the relatives of Netaji under close surveillance between 1948 and 1968 when Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister.

Subsequent to this, family members of Netaji met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to declassify all Netaji files.

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