New Delhi: The government has approached Japan, the UK, Italy, Russia, the US and Austria as part of efforts to get information relating to disappearance of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. “The issue of handing over documents relating to Netaji has been taken up with governments of Austria, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, UK and the USA,” Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh told Lok Sabha.
He was replying to a question on whether government has started making efforts to contact various countries concerned to share information on Netaji in order to declassify them. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 14 had announced that government will start unveiling the secret files related to Netaji from January 23 next year, raising hopes about solving the seven-decade-old mystery about his disappearance.
Modi had made the announcement during a meeting with family members of Bose. In the meeting he had agreed with their suggestion to request foreign governments to declassify files on Netaji available with them. Sixty-four files running into nearly 13,000 pages relating to Bose were declassified in September by the West Bengal government. The files showed some of his close family members were spied on in independent India but there was no clarity whether he died in an air crash in 1945 as is widely believed.
Netaji’s family too has approached the governments of Russia, Japan, the US and UK seeking details about his mysterious disappearance. Replying to a separate question, Singh said 74 missing defence personnel are believed to be in Pakistan’s custody including 54 since 1971. He said government has repeatedly taken up the matter with Pakistan for their release.
Asked whether several Indian soldiers were tortured to death in Pakistan during Kargil war, he replied in the affirmative. On whether government was contemplating to take up these matters in the International Court of Justice, the Minister said government would be open to invoking the jurisdiction of ICJ, subject to the Supreme Court’s ruling in an ongoing case.