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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 May 2006, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Mystery over India freedom hero
Chandra Bose is garlanded by members of the Free India Legion
Subhash Chandra Bose 's death is shrouded in mystery
Indian independence fighter Subhash Chandra Bose did not die in a Taiwanese plane crash, an inquiry has found.

The report into one of the great mysteries of India's freedom struggle concluded that Mr Bose had died but not in the 1945 crash as widely thought.

Mr Bose, whose body was never found, and his army fought against British rule from Japan and Burma.

The commission did not say what happened to him and the Congress-led government has rejected its findings.

The BBC's Jyotsna Singh in Delhi says the fact that Mr Bose's body was never recovered has fuelled speculation among some of his supporters that he survived the crash.


The inquiry commission headed by former Supreme Court judge, MK Mukerjee, was set up by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in 1999.

The government has to explain why it wants to reject this judicial commission report - a one-line rejection is not enough
Debabrata Biswas,
Forward Block party

The commission was asked to probe the alleged "disappearance" of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and to find out whether he died in the crash in Taipei on 18 August, 1945.

It was also asked "to probe the circumstances concerning the departure of Mr Bose from Bangkok in August 1945, his reported death in an air crash and any subsequent developments connected with the story".

The commission concluded that Mr Bose "is dead", but "he did not die in the plane crash, as alleged". It has also said the ashes kept in Japanese temple were not his.

The former judge recommended that rumours the plane crash was a cover to help Mr Bose escape to Russia needed to be investigated.

The report was submitted to the government in November last year and published in parliament on Wednesday.

'No crashes'

The Congress party-led present government says it has examined the report in detail.

It said it did not agree with the findings that "Netaji did not die in a plane crash and the ashes in the Renkoji Temple (in Japan) were not of Netaji".

The BJP has criticised the government for not accepting the findings. Last year, the Taiwanese authorities had told Indian investigators that there were no plane crashes at Taipei, between 14 August and 20 September 1945.

Mr Bose, who believed in an armed rebellion to oust the British rulers from India, set up the Indian National Army in exile to fight against British rule during World War II.

Some of his followers insist he died in the air crash, others do not.

The political party Forward Block, which Mr Bose set up, criticised the government for rejecting the report.

"The government has rejected it, the people of India have not," it said.

"The government has to explain why it wants to reject this judicial commission report - a one-line rejection is not enough," party general secretary Debabrata Biswas said.

The party has demanded a full debate on the report in parliament.

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