West Bengal government to put Netaji files in public domain next Friday


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced that her government would make as many as 64 files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose available in public domain, a week from now.

Talking to reporters at the state secretariat, Banerjee said, “We have decided to put in public domain all government files on Netaji that we have. All files concerning Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be in public domain from next Friday. West Bengal government has decided to make all files and documents concerning Netaji public. We know Netaji’s date of birth. We have no idea about his death. People deserve to know about his last days.”

Making files on Netaji has been a thorny issue between the West Bengal government and the BJP-ruled Centre after bureaucrats at the prime minister’s office, home ministry and ministry of external affairs were accused of stonewalling attempts to access the classified files that can potentially throw light on Netaji’s disappearance.

West Bengal CM also added that her government wanted to ‘maintain transparency and accountability’ adding that people ‘must know about Netaji as he was a national icon.’

Last year in December, the BJP-led government had refused to make public nearly 39 classified files on the mysterious disappearance of Netaji. This had evoked angry reactions from people who felt the central government’s decision was in sharp contrast to the demands of disclosure raised by its senior leaders when in Opposition.

In an RTI reply, the PMO last year had admitted that there were as many as 41 files related to Netaji of which two had been declassified, but refused to disclose them taking a position similar to that of the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government.