The family of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose were indeed under government surveillance for two decades, between 1948 and 1968, a family member of the Indian nationalist leader, who had a look at the files that were declassified today, confirmed.
"I was able to look at some of the critical files related to the snooping during the Nehru era. And Amiya Nath Bose (nephew of Bose), Sisir Kumar Bose (nephew of Bose) were all under surveillance. We'll get to know more data and more revelations details in the coming days. Why should members of the Bose family be kept under surveillance?" said Chandra Kumar Bose, the grand-nephew of Netaji.
According to an India Today report, IB sleuths tailed Bose's family members as they travelled around India and abroad, recording who they met and what they discussed.
In August 2006, the home ministry had written to the Information Commission saying that certain files on Bose were so sensitive that disclosing them "may lead to a serious law and order problem in the country", Anuj Dhar wrote in the Indian Express. About 41 PMO files, 27 MEA files, 77 IB files and 60,000 pages with the home ministry make up the volume of classified papers on Bose, Dhar's report said.
The West Bengal government on Friday declassified 64 files -- over 12,744 pages of information about Bose whose mysterious disappearance in the mid-1940s inspired scores of conspiracy theories and speculations about his death.
The first access to the digitised files were given to Bose's family members who have been demanding that the government put all information about the freedom fighter out in the public domain.
"As far as the Govt of India is concerned, we have already released most papers in our possession barring few documents we have to discuss with the MEA," said Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs.
The files were displayed in glass cases at the Kolkata Police museum.
Today is a historic day. Our govt has made all #NetajiFiles public. People have a right to know about the brave son of India— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) September 18, 2015
The Commissioner of Kolkata Police Surajit Kar Purakayastha and some family members of Netaji were present at the function.
Of the 64 files, 55 were with Kolkata Police while another nine were with the state police.
"The files related to Netaji have been placed in the archives of Kolkata police museum. There are about 64 file that contain 12,744 pages. The entire files have been digitised and the original files have been kept in the police museum," Kolkata Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purkayastha told reporters.
"We want the truth to come out, 70 years have gone by, India has become Independent, Netaji fought to give us that independence and yet no one knows what had happened to Netaji," West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said after the event. "Yes, I have looked at the files...unfortunately," she said cryptically without divulging the contents.
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We are very happy that Mamata ji has taken this bold step of declassifying Netaji files-Krishna Bose,Netaji kin pic.twitter.com/OVrNmCt8CS— ANI (@ANI_news) September 18, 2015
"It was quite a big task because in a short period of time we had to digitise entire files," he added.
"I would like to congratulate Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for taking such a bold step by releasing Netaji's files," Chandra Bose said.
"All the controversies regarding Netaji's files are needless and they have been created in a political environment. The files are there with the government and they can declassify them whenever they want," Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit told ANI.
"This is a welcome step. The declassification may throw light on the new facts that maybe unknown to us," he added.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy said that he would move court against the Central Government if it doesn't declassify the Netaji files by the end of this year.
"I have already told the government to declassify the files or else I will move court by the year end. They don't have an authority to keep the files of Subhash Bose in secret," Swamy said. "The courage that Mamata Banerjee has shown is commendable and the Central Government should also declassify files related to Bose. This should have been done earlier," he added.
"There is no Soviet Union now and in England the Labour Party is no more in power so it won't hamper the foreign relations but it would defame Nehru and the Congress party," he added. (With inputs from agencies)