Recollections and reflections

Reminiscences, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai

I first came in contact with Subhas Bose in 1923 at Delhi when the Congress was divided into two groups over the question of what was known as 'Council Entry.'...Subhas Babu, as the favourite lieutenant of Deshabandhu, was playing a prominent part in the controversy. more>>

Netaji Inquiry Committee: Dissentient Report of Suresh Chandra Bose (1956)

Appendix A

Suresh Chandra Bose                                    62, Pataudi House, New Delhi,
Dated, 2nd April, 1956.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,
Prime Minister of India,
New Delhi.

Dear Sir,

As a member of "Netaji Enquiry Committee", I think the following items mentioned in brief among others, need clarification:—
1. Terms of Reference: The External Affairs Department in their letter dated 3rd February, 1956 to me have mentioned — "circumstances of the disappearance of", — whereas the same department in their letter dated, 16th March, 1956 to me have stated — "circumstances of the death of". —
2. As regards the manner in which the enquiry would be made, I asked Shri Shah Nawaz Khan yesterday as to whether the enquiry would be open to the public or to the press or to both or whether it would be held in camera. He replied that all Government of India enquiries are done secretly & only reports are made public.
3. Whether the itinerary of the "Enquiry Committee" will be decided by any party other than the Committee or by the Committee alone & which may be added, omitted or altered in accordance with the requirements suggested, as the investigation proceeds.
4. Whether with regard to witnesses, documents, papers etc. necessary to be examined or inspected, the procedure mentioned in item No. 3 above will be followed or not.
5. With due respect to Shri Shah Nawaz Khan, I am of opinion that, as this enquiry is more or less of a judicial nature & not appertaining to military matters, his position in the Committee as Chairman is not appropriate & because he does not appear to be in possession of much additional information, which would be helpful to the Committee, regarding the places to be visited by us or regarding the subject-matter of this enquiry.
6. It is considered important by me on behalf of the Committee to know whether the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was & still is in the list of War Criminals drawn up by America & her Allies. If his name still exists & if they request the Government of India to hand him over to them if he be found  on Indian soil,  for being tried  as a War Criminal, whether this Government will have the opinion of handing or not handing him over to them for the aforesaid purpose.
7. As I consider this Enquiry to be a very important one and as it will be of great concern to millions of persons throughout the world, it requires mature deliberation and sound judgment. As such, it is my humble opinion that Dr. Radha Binode Pal be requested and persuaded to join the Committee and to lead it.

I remain,
Yours faithfully
Suresh Chandra Bose
2-4-56

Appendix B

INSPECTION NOTE ON TREASURE DEPOSITED WITH NATIONAL ARCHIVES

Mr. K. Satoh, who was a bomber mechanic attached to 136 Air Unit at Taihoku at that time, has stated that there was a minor plane accident there, and the only 2 inmates of the plane, one resembling Netaji and the other a Japanese, came out of the plane unscathed and started talking to each other. Incidentally, this witness stated Netaji was wearing a big round wrist watch, which gives the lie direct to Col. Rahman's version of a rectangular wrist watch.

19. 6. 1956

 

Packet No. 11.

Charred rings. Kundan Singh says he recognises them, but they are charred.

Bundle No. 2 .

Charred gold mixed with melted metal. Kundan Singh recognises —

 

  • 1. a gold cigarette case encrusted with precious stones as the one gifted by Hitler to Netaji,
  • 2. a star shaped pendant,
  • 3. a paper knife,
  • 4. medal of Rani Jhansi regiment,
  • 5. part of Cigarette lighter used by Netaji,
  • 6. belt buckle used by Netaji with civilian clothes.

Bundle No. 3.

Kundan Singh recognises a small knife used by Netaji for manicure.

Packet No. 12.

Charred rings and chains. Kundan Singh recognises them but says they are charred.

Packet No. 13.

Button studs etc. Kundan Singh recognises them but says they are charred.

Packet No. 10.

Charred ear-rings with stones and rings. Kundan Singh recognises them but says they are charred.

Packet No. 9.

Charred bangles, brooches and nose rings. Kundan Singh recognises them but says they are charred. Recognises a gold rope as part of a garland presented to Netaji by Mr. Habib of Rangoon.

Packet No. 8

Charred rings and nose rings. Kundan Singh recognises them but says they are charred.

Packet No. 5

Charred ear-rings, nose rings set with stones. Kundan Singh recognises but says they are charred.

Packet No. 4.

Charred necklace pieces, medals and rings. Kundan Singh recognises metal beads of necklaces.

Packet No. 2.

Charred and broken bangles, pins, buckles etc. Kundan Singh recognises—

 

  • 1. metal charkha-emblem presented to Netaji with his name engraved.
  • 2. a metal tricolour ribbon holder presented to Netaji.
  • 3. half of small oval gold case used by Netaji for carrying Supari (betelnuts).

Packet No. 6.

Charred and broken anklets and bangles. Kundan Singh recognises them but says they are charred.

Packet No. 7.

Charred and broken rings, nose rings and pendants. Kundan Singh recognises but says they are charred. Identifies —
(i) One long ear-ring of gold as belonging to wife of one Mr. Banerjee of Singapore who used to look after Netaji's household.

Packet No. 3.

Charred and broken bangles, pendants, snuff box, medals, coins and rings. Kundan Singh recognises them but says they are charred. Identifies -—
(i) Other half of oval gold Supari box of Netaji.

Packet No. 1.

Charred rings and pendants. Kundan Singh recognises 3 heavy rings.

The weight of the four boxes in which jewellery and other valuables were kept would be approximately 2 to 2½ maunds including the weight of boxes. The weight of the charred valuables shown to me today would probably not be more than 10 seers.

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