Netaji files reveal radio messages that raised hope of Bose brigade

KOLKATA: Two years after independence, a radio broadcast aroused much curiosity and stoked the hope of many Indians that Netaji could be alive.

A letter one of Netaji’s nephews, Amiya Nath Bose, wrote to brother, Sisir Kumar Bose, said: “For the last one month, a strange broadcast is being heard over the radio. We’re getting this broadcast on the short-wave near 16mm. The broadcast only says, “Neta Subhas Chandra Bose transmitter-e katha bolte cheyechhen. (Bose wants to speak on the transmitter).” This sentence is repeated for hours.”

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The letter dated November 18, 1949 was intercepted by the Kolkata Police Special Branch. Sisir was then studying medicine in London. Elder brother Amiya lived in Kolkata.
Amiya continues: “We don’t know where it (the broadcast) is coming from, because that’s not announced. It’s possible to find the location of a transmission.”

This letter figures in File 606-29, one of 64 declassified by the West Bengal on Friday.

Sisir, a reputed Kolkata paediatrician, drove the car Netaji used to escape from his Elgin Road house in 1940. Amiya, also a noted physician, participated in the Quit India Movement, became an MP and was the Indian ambassador to Myanmar.

Decades after independence, intelligence units of Bengal and the Centre’s Intelligence Bureau were intercepting letters exchanged between Bose family members. Every move, especially of Sisir and Amiya were tracked by “agents”.

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The declassified files contain letters and “secret weekly surveys” of “activities” of Bose family members up to the 1970s when Congress ruled Bengal and Siddharth Shankar Ray was CM.

IB too sought regular reports on the Bose family. One file show that on August 20, 1971 Delhi wrote to Bengal’s intelligence branch asking “if there’s anything adverse against Sisir Bose”. A veteran intelligence officer said: “These days, I don’t think we track even criminals or terrorists like this.”

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The weekly survey of the Calcutta Police security control for week ending August 26, 1965, includes a letter Sisir wrote to Tatsuo Hayashida seeking specific information on Netaji in Japan.

Sisir wrote: “The Netaji Inquiry commission made a great mistake by not visiting Formosa and holding an investigation on the spot. Moreover, there was no judicial person on the said committee.”

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