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Last Updated: Friday, 4 February, 2005, 13:00 GMT
Taiwan rejects Bose crash theory
By Subir Bhaumik
BBC News, Calcutta

Chandra Bose is garlanded by members of the Free India Legion
Subhas Chandra Bose did not live to see Indian independence
The Taiwanes authorities have said Indian independence fighter Subhash Chandra Bose could not have died in a plane crash in the country.

Many believe the nationalist leader was killed in a plane crash in the capital, Taipei on 18 August, 1945.

Taiwan has now told a Indian investigation that there were no plane crashes at Taipei between 14 August and 20 September 1945.

Bose, or Netaji, fought against British colonial rule.

He believed that only an armed rebellion could oust the British from India.

Bose set up the Indian National Army in exile to fight against British rule during the second war.

'Escape rumours'

Some of his old followers in the Indian National Army insist that he died in a plane crash in Taipei on 18 August 1945.

An aide of the leader even claimed that he survived the plane crash and found Bose dead in the wreckage.

His body was never recovered, fuelling rumour and speculation among other supporters who continue to believe that Bose survived the crash.

There were rumours that Bose escaped to the Soviet Union and was then imprisoned there.

Now the Taiwanese authorities have told a long-running Indian investigation into Bose's fate that there was no such crash in Taipei in August 1945.

"This is a shot in the arm for those who believe that Bose did not die in the crash," said Kalyan Kumar Ghosh, who has written a book on the Bose's army in exile.

What happened to Bose has been always shrouded in mystery.

The Japanese government says his bones are preserved at a temple in the country.

A major motion picture on Bose, directed by leading Indian filmmaker Shyam Benegal, will be released this year.

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