Please accept the report of the Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry, declassify all Netaji-related files, ask other countries to do the same, and set up a special investigation team to resolve Netaji's disappearance mystery
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Dear Narendra Modiji
You may recall that we wrote to you on May 23, 2014 urging you to take steps to resolve the mysteries relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in national interest. We requested that all secret files on or about Netaji should be declassified; the report of Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry into his disappearance must be accepted and a multi-disciplinary investigation team comprising historians, retired judges and intelligence officers, archivists and representatives of civil society organisations should be set up to complete the task left unfinished by this Commission.
But, in the pattern of the previous governments, our petition was forwarded to the Home Ministry in a most casual manner by a Section Officer (PMO ID No. 3/3/2014-PMP4/46655 dated 3 June 2014). This was despite the fact that our request was specifically addressed to you. We wrote to you again on the same matter on August 13, 2014. This time the response of your office was silence. In the meantime, your office has continued the policy of the previous governments, refusing to declassify files on Netaji. This has happened despite your assurances to the contrary.
With your ascension as our Prime Minister, we have believed that the time now is ripe, more than ever, to bring about a closure to this controversy. We believe that if anyone can lead the resolution of modern India’s longest running mystery, it is you.
We briefly outline our concerns and our expectations in the following paragraphs.
You are without doubt aware that the issue of Netaji's fate has troubled generations of Indians. You would also be aware that the several Ministries of the Government of India, including the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), and the central and state intelligence agencies, hold several classified files on Netaji. Despite our attempts of several years seeking the declassification of the secret files, they continue to be kept secret. This inclination towards maintaining secrecy over the life and fate of one of India’s greatest sons is baffling and appears to reflect the lack of political will to resolve the issue.
It is often pointed out that three inquiries have been instituted on this matter and another inquiry would serve no purpose. It is however important to keep in mind that the first two public inquiries headed by Shah Nawaz Khan and Justice GD Khosla were not impartial. The third, a commission led by Justice MK Mukherjee, a former Supreme Court judge, faced a rather hostile Congress government led by your predecessor. Generations to come will scarcely believe that the findings of a commission set up on a High Court's order were dismissed without assigning any reason at a time when dreaded and convicted criminals are accorded highest "human rights" considerations.
At the same time, we would also like to draw your attention to the instances of destruction/disappearance of vital records, which could only be the result of conspiracy hatched at the highest level. We hardly need to underline that such state of affairs is not only unacceptable in this age and time in the world's largest democracy but they also constitute an insult to the memory of Netaji, but for whom India would not have become free in 1947.
Hence we are writing to you since we believe that you can induce transparency in this matter and resolve the mystery once and for all.
Satyamev Jayate is our national credo and we follow Western jurisprudence where the Latin dictum "Fiat justitia ruat caelum" (Let justice be done though the heavens fall) holds sway. It is about time that these hallowed considerations, not some inexplicable official excuse, be applied to the Netaji matter and it is resolved in national interest.
Therefore we earnestly request you to take the following steps:
- Announce the acceptance of the finding of the Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry which had submitted its report in 2006 that Netaji did not die in a plane crash in 1945.
- Direct officials at all levels to search for all Netaji-related records, secret or otherwise, including those held by the intelligence agencies and make them public. Kindly ensure that the search of the records includes the category of records that are seen only by the Prime Minister. We understand that these records are different from those held in the PMO record room at the South Block. We hope that in 2015 not a single paper or piece of information relating to Netaji will be retained by any Ministry or any agency of the Government of India. Instead, everything must be shared with the people of India in the name of transparency, truth and justice.
- Set up a multi-disciplinary special investigation team (SIT) comprising historians, retired judges, intelligence officers, archivists and representatives of the family of Netaji as well as investigative researchers and civil society organisations to complete the task left unfinished by the Mukherjee Commission, in a time-bound manner. Clear instructions should be issued to all departments of the Union government and the state governments to cooperate with the SIT. The SIT should be given full authority to summon anyone it feels relevant and requisition all documents required for a complete investigation. It should also be empowered to penalize any agency, department, or individual for non-compliance. For the purpose of this investigation, we urge you to exempt former and current officials from their oath of secrecy by passing a special Rule.
- Formally request other countries such as the United Kingdom, People’s Republic of China, Russian Federation, the United States of America and other relevant countries at the highest level so that they share all information they hold on Netaji with the Government of India to aid the investigation by the SIT.
We are sure that you as our Prime Minister will accord this matter your personal and sincere attention considering your admiration for Netaji and the realization of what he did for India. We sincerely believe that your Government is the Government of hope and change.
Kindly let us know a date and time convenient to you when we could meet you in Delhi to discuss the above-mentioned issues.
With warm regards, we wish you all the best.
Team Mission Netaji
- Anuj Dhar
- Chandrachur Ghose
- Sayantan Dasgupta
- Sreejith Panickar
- Other members and well-wishers of Mission Netaji who have signed this petition
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