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>>

Report of the One-man Commission of Inquiry into the Disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (1970-74)

7. Some Theories and Hypotheses

7.1 1 shall now deal with the other versions about Bose's whereabouts and the various stories that were naratted in the course of this inquiry, to disprove the allegation of his death at Taipei are many witnesses who severally claim to have seen, met or talked to Bose at various times and places long after August 18, 1945. These encounters are said to have taken place sometimes in an aura of mystery, of something secret and clandestine yet scarcely concealed from the public gaze or public knowledge. At other times Bose is said to have appeared in public places amidst crowds, exposing himself to persons who could have recognised him, but singularly failed to identify him. The sum told of the evidence of these witnesses would seem to be that Bose, the great leader of men, the courageous fighter, the extrovert and a vociferous propagandist has now been metamorphosed into a strangely shy individual who frequently changes his guise and personality, moving from place to place, never making himself truly manifest, never openly declaring his identity, but suggesting it by means of peculiarly subtle and equivocal innuendoes and arcane gestures and expressions.

7.2 The case of the Baba of Shaulmari Ashram has already been discussed in detail while examining Uttam Chand Malhotra's evidence. Of the numerous other stories one is that Bose was seen by Mr. Devun Sen, M. P. at Marseilles in 1946. Devun Sen is no longer alive. But his story is related by two witnesses: Mukand Parekh (witness No. 173) and Chaplakant Bhattacharya (W. No. 177)

7.3 Mukand Parekh was Personal Assistant to Mr. Devun Sen, who was a Member of Parliament from 1967 to 1971. He says that Mr. Devun Sen went to France in 1946. Many years later, Devun Sen again went abroad. And when he came back, Parekh questioned him. His story is as follows:

"When Mr. Devun Sen came back I questioned him about Netaji, because I wanted to know whether Netaji was alive. He did not say anything in front of other people, but he called me aside and questioned me why I wanted to know these things about Netaji. I told him that there was a confusion in the country and uncertainty about Netaji being alive...Mr. Devun Sen told me not to ask these questions in front of other people and added that when he came back from Calcutta, he would speak to me about the matter."

This happened in 1966.

"I kept on asking him about Netaji being alive and then in 1968 one night, at 2 A.M. he came to me and said that he wanted to tell me something. I thought he wanted to ask me something about Parliamentary Affairs, but he said that he wanted to say something about Subhas Bose. He asked me to remember that I was his P.A. and that he trusted me implicitly. Then I wrote down what he said. He spoke in Hindi and I took it down in Gujarati. What he said was this:
In 1946 I was going to London as an Official delegate at the ILO Conference at Geneva. We stopped at Marseilles for refuelling. As we were hungry, we went to a restaurant for taking some refreshments and sat round a table. The trade union leader, Shri Joglekar was with us. Suddenly, a military man came and standing in front of us, he began to laugh. But his face was familiar. He looked like a European. My companions rose to go to the plane and I wanted to go to the toilet. The military man was sitting in front of the toilet door and making a sign for silence by placing a finger upon his lips. I recognised the man to be Netaji, but because he had signalled silence I did not speak to him."

7.4 The story of this encounter should have been related to Bose's near relatives, particularly his brother, Sarat Chandra Bose. With this aspect of the question the witness dealt with as follows:

"Mr. Sen told him (Joglekar) not to talk about the matter there, and he said that this matter should not be allowed to go beyond the two persons, i.e. Shri Sen and Shri Joglekar. On going to Calcutta, Shri Sen had told Shri Sarat Chandra Bose the whole story. Shri Sarat Chandra Bose observed that Netaji would never reveal his identity in France and that is why he had signalled silence. Mr. Sen told Chaplakant Bhattacharyya, Suresh Chandra Banerji (he is dead) and D. L. Sen Gupta. Mr. Sen said that he did not want to talk about it in public because it was a deep political matter."

It was in 1970, long after the Commission had been appointed that this story first saw the light of day. It was never mentioned before the Shah Nawaz Committee.

7.5 The interval of 24 years between the strange encounter at Marseilles and its narration in public is nothing short of astonishing. There was no reason at all why the matter should have been kept secret. Also it is clear that Mr. Sen had not met Bose in person for he said Bose looked like a European whereas in actual fact Bose's wheat coloured complexion and the cast of his features were typically Indian. No one could have mistaken him for a European, certainly not one of his own countrymen.

7.6 Chaplakant Bhattacharyya repeats the same story. He says:

"Mr. Sen mentioned to me about this when both of us were in the Lok Sabha. Mr. Sen had gone to Marseilles under a group of labour leaders, and there, when changing the plane, they had gone to the airport restaurant where we had some refreshments...Mr. Sen mentioned specifically the name of Mr. Joglekar as being with him and the narration that I had from him was like this. While .he was sitting he suddenly observed that a man in military attire was scrutinising him very closely. He looked up and realised that he was Netaji. Of course, the first simple thing in him was to speak to him, but as he moved, Netaji raised his forefinger and pressed it on his lips just forbidding any disclosure of his familiarity. In that way I saw that. Afterwards when they went to the bathroom both he and Joglekar, one after another, when coming out of the bathroom, they found the same figure standing near the passage of the bathroom with his forefinger placed on his lips. That is why they did not approach him. But the recognition of the person being Netaji was separately and individually done by Joglekar and Devun Sen. Mr. Devun Sen had been to the bath room first and he was coming out. As he was coming out, Mr. Joglekar was following him and it is Mr. Joglekar who called Mr. Devun Sen and said: What is it that you have seen? He said: Have you not seen that Netaji is standing there; And then Mr. Devun Sen advised Mr. Joglekar not to create a row about it; it might lead to very undesirable consequences and so that is how they stopped."

Mr. Devun Sen and Mr. Joglekar are both dead arid their story is no more than hearsay evidence. The story itself does not carry conviction.

7.8 Mr. Chaplakant Bhattacharyya deposes to another dramatic incident which took place some time after partition one summer. Mr Bhattacharyya was then the Editor of Ananda Bazar Patrika. His story is:

"It was after partition and it was summer. At that time the Ananda Bazar Patrika office was situated in Burman Street, not in its present building near Chowringhee. The Editor's room was on the second floor. That was the top most floor of the building. My room was rather a long room with three doors, and bacause of summer, the door in front of me was closed; the door next to it was also closed and the farthest door was left open. It was about 1 P.M. Suddenly I heard the sound of wooden sandals entering from the farthest door. As I was waiting to receive the person coming, two young men came before me. One was in full military attire and the other was dressed like a Sanyasi, very young in age, and he had all the requirements of Sanyasi and bhasma (ashes) was there; the deer-skin was there; kamandal was there. I was taken by surprise at such a combination appearing at such an hour and I asked him what is that you want from me. They said, Sir, we are coming from Japan. We got down at Dum Dum and are coming straight to you. I said: 'What is the matter?' and they said we have a message from Netaji which we have been asked to deliver to you. My Lord, this was a very surprising experience, unexpected experience for which no one was prepared at this time. So, I told them - I scrutinised the two young men very carefully and then I told them 'unless you can give me some proof that you are coming from Netaji, how can you expect that I will talk with you about him, or is it in the message that you say you are bringing from him to me?' They said: 'We have a letter.' I said: 'Kindly show the letter. I shall see the date at the top and the signature at the bottom. I don't want to see the text. I know his signature very well. I can easily find out.' They said: 'The letter is meant for Sarat Bose and unless we get Sarat Bose's permission we cannot show you the letter.' I said: 'Then you have got to see Mr. Sarat Bose first and then come to me if you so choose.' After that they left. I was expecting for some days for them to come back to me, but they did not appear. That was a strange experience which has remained unexplained to me even up to now. Why the two persons came, what did they bring and why did they not come again? This happened in the office of the Ananda Bazar Patrika. Then I enquired from the staff working downstairs and they told me that the two young men had come and 'we directed them to you.' This is the experience that I have about this matter. They never came back."

Unless this is a figment of the witness's imagination or hallucination on his part, the visit of the two young men to the witness must be looked upon as nothing more than a practical joke. When questioned about informing Sarat Bose of this encounter he said:

"Somehow I did not contact Mr. Sarat Bose immediately. I left it for some time later, and after a year or a little more, Mr. Bose passed away."

The incident, the witness said, must have taken place in the year 1948 or 1949. But the witness never spoke to any one about it. He was shown the letter Bose was alleged to have written to his brother. The two visitors apparently never went to Sarat Bose. Only a fool or an extremely gullible person can believe Bhattacharya's story or accept it as proof of Bose being alive in 1948.

7.8 Another encounter with Netaji which is alleged to have taken place in 1947 is also related by hearsay evidence. This is the story of Sardar Niranjan Singh Talib (Witness No. 192), who has held high office. He was the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, a Deputy Minister, and then a Minister of State and subsequently a Cabinet Minister in the Punjab. His story is that in 1947 he went to the house of Sardar Baldev Singh where he was introduced to one Mr. Wag, an American Military Officer. According to Mr.Talib:

"As soon as Sardar Baldev Singh introduced me to him, he took me to another room and he started showing some photographs of Netaji. He said that Netaji disappeared to Indo-China. He did not die in the crash but he disappeared and he went to Indo-China and he showed me photographs of some cottage where Netaji was standing."

These photographs, according to the witness, were taken after the date of the crash. Wag had been commissioned by an American paper to write a story about Bose. This story was however, never published, and there is nothing to show that Wag's encounter with Bose after the date of the alleged crash was ever given publicity under Wag's signature in any American newspaper. Shri Talib went on to say:

"I wanted to take one of the photos. But suddenly I do not know what happened to him; he took all the photos. He got somewhat suspicious and he stopped further conversation. He doubted something that I may not leak it out."

It is strange that the story which was intended to be published in an American newspaper had to be kept secret. According to Dwijendra Nath Bose the story was related to him by Shri Talib. In any event Shri Talib's story is secondary hearsay evidence and Dwijendra Nath Bose's corroboration is one stage further removed.

7.9 There is then Goswami's story that Bose visited Peking in 1952 as a Member of the Mongolian Trade Union Delegation. A photograph of this Delegation, together with the Australian Trade Union Delegation was published in a pamphlet (Exhibit No. W-8/G) which has been placed on the record of this inquiry. The same photographs was published in the issue of Hindustan Standard dated 5-10-1955 and the Jugantar. The Hindustan Standard also published a statement made by Goswami, at a Press Conference. An enlarged framed copy of the same photograph was brought to the hearings of the Commission by Goswami, and its display aroused a great deal of emotion among the audience. Goswami also alleged that a bald monk wearing glasses standing near the bier of Shri Nehru was no other than Subhas Chandra Bose. The second contention of Goswami will be examined in a subsequent part of this chapter. With regard to the photograph of the Mongolian and Australian Delegation I cannot accept it as a refutation of Bose's death at Taihoku in 1945. If the photograph in the pamphlet is accepted to be genuine, there is no reason why Bose's name should not have been mentioned. The only resemblance of the person alleged to have been Bose in the photograph and the real Bose is that both show a partial baldness of the head and both wear glasses. Either Bose was concealing his identity so cleverly that no one else in the Delegation came to know the truth or the partial resemblance was only accidental and no significance can be attached to it. In any event, the evidence of the photograph does not establish that Bose was alive after 1945.

7.10 Another strange story of an encounter with Bose, in January 1954, is related by Mubarak Mazdoor (Witness No. 194), an active politician and a member of the Socialist Party. His story is that, while on a holiday, he went to Rangoon and visited the Ena Lake, which is a tourist attraction. He went on to say:

"After roaming about on the Lake, watching the crowd, I got tired and came to a tea stall where I was standing near a bench. On that there was a sitting a gentleman dressed in Pongi dress — I mean a Burmese priest with saffron coloured dress. It was in the year 1954. It was towards the end of January 1954. As soon as this gentleman saw me, he said, 'Tashrif rakhiaye'. I got very much interested in a gentleman who could speak Hindustani, and wore a Pongi dress. I sat down by his side. By that time the stranger ordered a cup of tea for me and spoke to the tea-stall holder in very nice and eloquent Burmese. As soon as I saw this man, my mind started wondering as to who could be this man. I had definitely seen him. I asked the gentleman, 'How do you speak good Hindustani?' He said, 'I have lived in India for quite a long time.' I asked him, 'What is your nationality?' He answered: 'men and women are born in one country, some in the other country, and after a short duration, they complete their journey and leave this world, can you expect a man to tell his nationality after he is dead. You are putting a question to me about my nationality. There are some important points.' After that he saw a foreigner coming and he left me. A short while after a pretty Burmese girl came to me and said, your friend Mr Monk, wants you. Before he left me, I asked his name and he told me that his name was Mr. Monk. I accompanied the Burmese girl to a quite place on the sand where they were taking their lunch. I was also offered lunch by the Burmese friend of Mr. Monk and that foreigner. Then Mr. Monk and his friend took me in their car, and left me at my hotel...He left a great impression in my mind and I was pondering, he must be a great man. He had great resemblance with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose...I want to say that he was alive and I believe that Mr. Monk was Mr. Subhas Chandra Bose...He was none but Subhas Chandra Bose."

Strangely enough when the witness was questioned further he said that when he put the direct question to this strange Monk and asked him if he was indeed Subhas Chandra Bose, the stranger replied in the negative. Then comes this surprising passage in the witness's statement:

"Then again I said, is Subhas Chandra Bose dead? He virtually shouted at me and said, who says that Subhas is dead?"

The witness did not appear before the Shah Nawaz Khan Committee, although he said he was persuaded by hundreds of people to go to Calcutta and make a statement before that Committee. His ludicrous story needs no comment. It has only to be heard to be rejected.

7.11 There is yet another story of this kind of accidental or chance encounter, related by Sharda Prasad Upadhyaya (Witness No. 20), a Primary School teacher of Jabalpur. The incident to which he deposed is said to have taken place in 1957 or 1958, in the month of May. The witness says:

It was about 10 or 11 a.m. I was going to have a bath in the Narain Nallah, which is a stream which flows near our village. Ram Kumar Chaube, another resident of our village was also with me. We were going towards the path which comes from Jabalpur and goes along the stream. We saw two sadhus come from this route. Hearing the sound of some stones disturbed by their walk, I looked back and saw that the sadhu in front was definitely Subhas Chandra Bose. He was wearing saffron coloured clothes. He was wearing a lungi and a loose kurta. He also had a sheet or shawl on his head. He was carrying a stick. I had never met Netaji personally, but being a school teacher, I have seen many of his pictures in the course of my instruction to my students. And the person I saw was exactly similar to the pictures of Netaji which I had previously seen. Netaji asked me where the route led to, and I told him that it went straight to Jabalpur...We continued to follow Netaji, but he stopped us and asked us to go and do our own work and not follow him. We did not dare to disobey him and so left him. I did not address him as Netaji, but noticing that we were following him and that the stream had been left behind, he told us to go about our own business and we did not dare to follow him or speak to him further".

The witness went on to make a confession of his too ready credulousness by saying:

"The same day I spoke about the incident to the people in the village. They told us that what we were saying was not correct and that it was impossible that we should have met Netaji and we should not talk in this manner."

The story really deserves no comment.

7.12 MAWU ANGAMI, (Witness No. 202) a Naga political leader, associated with Phizo for several years and now detained in the Special Jail, Nowgong (Assam) was examined as a witness. His story is that he met Bose near Penang in April, 1958. He said:

"Till 1958 I did not know much about Shri Subhas Chandra Bose nor whether he was dead or alive. In 1958 when some INA personnel met me in Rangoon, they told me that Shri Subhas Chandra Bose was alive. They did not mention the place where he was. I met only two officers. They told me that Netaji was alive. After some days I went to Burma. There I contacted other INA personnel. From there I went to Penang, and they made arrangements for me to meet Shri Subhas Chandra Bose. I personally met Shri Subhas Chandra Bose, in Penang in 1958 April...Before that I had never seen him. One of the confidential men of Shri Subhas Chandra Bose introduced me to Shri Subhas Chandra Bose. He told me to describe him as Mr. Gupta and Subhas's name was simply made as 'Azad'. Before I could meet Shri Subhas Chandra Bose I had to take a pledge that I would not disclose the existence of Subhas Chandra Bose...That confidential man introduced me to him and I had to believe, that the person introduced was Bose."

The witness's only knowledge of Bose's physiognomy was derived from some photographs which he had previously seen.

7.13 The witness added that he had related the story, in confidence, to a press correspondent, and a news item was published on September 2, 1957, in the Hindustan Standard, as follows:

"That Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is alive and he had a high level conference with Phizo Naga rebel leader somewhere in Indi-Tibet border in 1952, is understood to have been said by Mawu, personal envoy of Phizo recently arrested in Damcherra Chama while returning to Nagaland from Pakistan."

The witness, when questioned about this news item, denied its correctness and said:

"The mistake lies in the fact that I told him that meeting would be arranged and not that the meeting had taken place between Mr. Phizo and Shri Subhas Chandra Bose."

Bose's appearance at this meeting was described by the witness thus:

"He did not look like an old man. He was keeping a beard but not full. Within five years the appearance had changed. He told me that within five years he had changed and even his own men would not recognise him".

7.14 The witness's statement is strangely at variance with the report in the Hindustan Standard. He says he met Bose in April, 1958, the paper reported the meeting to have taken place in 1952. He had not met Bose earlier, so how could he say that Bose's appearance had changed in the course of five years. There is no reason why Bose should have wished to see Mawu-Angami who was to him a total stranger. Mawu was in no position to help Bose, nor was any help sought by Bose. The witness has not stated what the purpose of this meeting was, what discussion took place among the two persons and whether any consequences followed as a result of this meeting. He took a solemn pledge to keep the matter a secret, and yet he revealed it to a Newspaper reporter who, at once, gave it wide publicity. The encounter had no purpose or meaning and the whole story appears to be totally unreal.

7.15 Another story of an encounter, in 1962, is deposed to by Swami Nirvanananda (Witness No. 43). This encounter is said to have taken place in Siliguri, in the summer of 1958. The witness said that he saw a jeep in which there were four persons including Bose and the driver. The jeep was standing idle on the roadside, at the bottom of the hill, and the men in it were eating some fruit, and chatting. The witness approached them with a view to getting a lift. Two of the passengers seemed to be Germans, wearing yellow clothes. The driver was dressed in military uniform. And the fourth person was identified to be Bose, and he was wearing a lungi and a white kurta. He was clean shaven and was wearing glasses. The witness was given a lift in the jeep.

The Germans talk to him but Bose did not. Later, near the Siliguri railway station, just as he was about to get off the jeep, Bose disclosed to him that he was indeed Bose. This is how the witness narrates the incident:

"He disclosed this to me later on. Those Germans asked me, 'Can you recognise Netaji?' I told them that I had seen him once, that is for about half an hour. I cannot now recognise. Then they asked me whether I had seen his residence to which I said yes. They further asked me whether I could give the exact address of his residence. I said, it is 2, Woodburn Park, Calcutta, and I have visited it several times. Then the gentleman who was sitting at the front side of the seat burst into laughter. Then he told me that it is Subhas Bose who is talking. This Subhas Bose who has become very popular in the world in the name of Netaji, is talking. Then I was wondering to know who was this Subhas Bose. At last it struck my mind. In the meantime we reached the station and when I alighted from the jeep, Netaji talked to me in Bengali: 'Again I will see you, stick to your mission'."

The witness went on to say that he saw Bose again on the 28th May, 1964. He was then standing near Mr. Nehru bier in Teen Murti Bhavan. We know in fact that the person standing near Mr. Nehru's bier was not Bose. It was a Cambodian monk, named Veera Dhammavara (Witness No. 224), who was called to depose before the commission. Shri Dhammavara came and stated that he had stood by Mr. Nehru's bier and that it was his photograph which was shown to him and which has been falsely said to be Bose's photograph by a number of witnesses.

7.16 The testimony of Veera Dhammavara supported by the statement of Dr. Lokesh Chandra (Witness No. 223), an eminent scholar and highly respected individual (now a member of the Rajya Sabha) furnished a complete refutation of the contention of S. M. Goswami and of Dr. Satya Narain Sinha also that Bose was seen standing near Nehru's bier at the entrance to Teen Murti House. Many persons took advantage of some slight resemblance between Dhammavara's facial features and Bose's baldness to assert that Bose was alive in 1964. Even without the evidence of Dr. Lokesh Chandra arid Shri Dhammavara, the story merits rejection, for it is unbelievable that while Bose was striving the whole time to keep his identity concealed, he threw caution to the winds and boldly appeared, his face unconcealed, at a place and time when thousands who knew him would immediately recognise him and hail him. In fact, no one recognised the bald monk as Bose. It was only when a newsreel taken by the Film Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting was screened, that some sensation-monger propounded the astonishing story of Bose being alive and having come to attend Nehru's funeral. The photograph was reproduced in various newspapers and books, some of which have been produced and exhibited in these proceedings. Uttam Chand Malhotra and Satya Narain Sinha produced the copies they had collected to prove that Bose is still alive. Malhotra's copy is Ex. UM/XIX 29-12-1970. He also produced a book in Hindi Shaulmari Sadhu hi Netaji (W. 16/RR) in which the same photo has been reproduced. Goswami produced a copy of the newspaper, Dak or The Call containing the same photograph, while Satya Narain Sinha produced an enlarged copy of the picture along with the picture of the Mongolian Delegation in Peking. Thisfatuous clutching at anything bearing the slightest resemblance to Bose, however remote and absurd indicates a kind of obsession or what Shri Dutt Majumdar called a Bose psychosis which may explain the wild conjectures, the unjustified accusations and the high emotions aroused by the very mention of Bose's death; but it certainly does not throw any light on the subject matter of this inquiry.

7.17 Equally strange and bizarre is the story of Gurbachan Singh, taxi driver (Witness No. 19) who claims to have met Bose on the 13th January, 1962. He said that one day, five young men from Indore College hired his taxi for taking them to the Qutab Minar, Okhla and other places. After seeing the Qutab Minar, his passengers asked him to drive them to Birla Mandir as they had given up the idea of going to Okhla. What happened next is described by the witness as follows:

"After driving for about two miles, near the Swasti Bhavan and the Aurobindo Ashram, I saw three Sadhus emerging from a wheat field, on the right hand side, and crossing the road. The eldest Sadhu among them was walking in front, and the other two were walking behind him with their hands behind their back. All the three sadhus were wearing saffron-coloured sheets or shawls. The one in front was wearing a lungi and a shawl. He carried a stick in one hand and a Kamandal in the other hand and was also wearing spectacles. A driver has to be careful about people crossing the road and I slowed down to see what sort of sadhu these three persons were. When I arrived near them I sounded my horn. This startled them, and they looked at me. I was very much surprised to see that the foremost sadhu was Subhas Chandra Bose. In 1939 I had seen Subhas Chandra Bose from a distance of 10 or 12 feet (when he was delivering his address at the Ramgarh Congress). In those days I used to be a wood contractor. I saw Subhas Chandra Bose first when he came in the Congress procession and then when he was reading out the resolutions. I was in front of him for over two hours. It was then that he said that the time had come to take direct action if we wanted to free ourselves from slavery under the British.

I stopped my car, got down and addressed him twice as 'Netaji'. But he put his fingers on his lips to silence me, and looked at me in great anger. My passengers said to me, 'Sardarji, come away, he is very angry.' I told my passengers to take two taxis and proceed on their journey because I wanted to follow Netaji. The students told me not to do so because if I followed him or informed the police, he would get into trouble because Netaji was under some sort of restriction. I proceeded on my way and gave up the idea of following Netaji. Whenever I spoke to anyone about this incident, they disbelieved me and said that Netaji had been dead for several years and I was a fool to say that he was alive."

There is really no need to comment on the fictional nature of the above narrative except to say that we may disbelieve it with the same readiness as those to whom it was related on previous occasions. It is clear that the witness has invented the story and deposed to it because of a desire to draw attention to himself.

7.18 Mahesh Chander (Witness No. 25) claims to have seen Bose near Jadugir-ka-bagh, Meerut, on 7-10-67. The story he related is as follows:

"On 7th October, 1967, Netaji came to Meerut and stayed in Jadugir-ka-bagh. On the morning of 7th October, Pandit Bhadra Sen came to me and said that a sadhu who was staying in Jadugir-ka-bagh had sent for me. Pandit Bhadra Sen did not tell me who this sadhu was. In the Jadugir-ka-bagh seven or eight persons, besides me, were present near the sadhu, who was sitting on a wooden chowki. The sadhu wore white tahmad and a white kurta. He had a white beard. He also wore spectacles. He was bare-headed, and on seeing him I felt that he was the same individual whom I had seen in 1939. I asked him why it was that I was seeing him in that guise. But he asked me not to speak about the matter. Madan Mohan had sent Bhadra Sen to call me because Madan Mohan had been to Shaulmari Ashram and also to Okhi Math. I had no talk with Netaji. But he called me to visit him at 1 O'clock. I do not know whether he recognised me as the man who had called on him many years previously. But he asked me what I was doing and whether I had married. I told him that I dealt in cotton yarn and that I had married several years previously. He asked me if I would accompany him to Banaras. According to his instruction I went home, got ready, and came back and travelled with him. There were two motor cars in which we travelled. We spent the night at Etah and then at Etawah. At Etawah, Ramesh Chandra Saxena joined us. I was not asked to make any contribution or pay any money to Netaji."

The journey proved inconclusive and the witness never met Bose again. There is no explanation, whatsoever of why Bose sent for this person whom he had, in 1939, met for a few brief moments, if the witness's story of the encounter in 1939 can be believed. The entire incident appears to be nothing more then a figment of the witness's imagination, narrated in the hope that the publicity given to it would make him appear important.

7.19 Brajendra Swarup (Witness No. 24) a timber merchant of Etawah, who had seen Bose deliver a lecture in the Patel Park in Farrukhabad in 1939, claims to have met him in 1964. He said that on the 8th December, 1964, after reading Uttam Chand Malhotra's articles about the Shaulmari Ashram Baba being no other than Netaji, he went himself to Shaulmari. There he met Swami Shardanandji. The witness stated:

"I got a slight idea that Shardanandji was the same man whom I had heard speaking as Subhas Chandra Bose at Farrukhabad."

There was another encounter between the witness and Bose on the 7th August, 1966, when he went to Okhi Math. On neither occasion did Swamiji speak to him. On 9-10-1967, he met Swamiji again at Meerut. Swamiji was then in a motor car and the witness was asked to supply 3 kilos of pure cow's milk to him. The milk was obtained from a nearby shop and supplied to the passengers in the motor car. The Swami, the witness says, was Bose and he remained there for about three-quarters of an hour.

7.20 Yet another encounter took place in 1968 when the witness claimed to have remained with the Shaulmari Ashram Swami from 27-9-1968 to 2-10-1968 at Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh. He says that he used to see Swami every day but never told him that he had recognised him as Bose. But he improved upon the statement a few moments later and said:

"At Amarkantak he once said that he was Shardanandji. I told him that I recognised him as Netaji and every pore of my body knew this. He smiled on my saying this. He did not abuse me nor was I garlanded with shoes."

The witness continued to meet the Baba or Bose from time to time. He met him on 7-6-1969 for the last time. After that he said he had no further communication from this Swami nor had he seen him.

7.21 The reference in the garlanding with a string of shoes was to the indignity suffered by Dixit (Witness No. 13) when he visited Shaulmari. Brajendra Swarup thus claimed to have enjoyed Bose's confidence and achieved a more prestigious status than Hira Lal Dixit. But the story of the numerous chance encounters narrated by the witness is no less false and fictitious than Dixit's contention that the Shaulmari Sadhu is in fact Bose.

7.22 Thakur Singh (Witness No. 42), who was a member of the Indian National Army in Burma is another witness who claims to have met Bose as-late as April, 1970. His story may be related in his own words. Giving evidence on 3-3-1971, he said:

"I saw Netaji last April. I saw him in Ambala but he did not admit that he was Netaji. He talked to me from 10 A.M. at Ambala. Since I have spent my whole life with Netaji, I. was able to recognise him. My brother-in-law is a Flight Sergeant in the Indian Air Force posted at Ambala. His name is Ishwar Singh. I had gone to Chandigarh and he telephoned me asking me to come to see him before I went to Kapurthala. I went to Ambala and he told me that he had met Netaji. I asked him how he had met Netaji. He said, he would tell me afterwards. I went to Kapurthala, and from there, I wrote a letter to him asking him to let me know the details of how and when he had met Netaji. The next day my brother-in-law came to Kapurthala. He told me that he had met Netaji at the house of a certain person whose name he did not reveal. My brother-in-law showed my letter to this man, but the man told him to tear up the letter and told me orally, by word of mouth, where he and my brother-in-law had met Netaji. My brother-in-law telephoned me at Kapurthala at the Block Samiti and called me to Ambala. This was in April, 1970. My brother-in-law took me to another Air Force Officer's house. I do not know the name of this Air Force Officer. Netaji used to come to this house. Outside the room two or three persons in saffron clothes were sitting, and in reply to my query, they said that I could not see Swamiji. Half an hour, later they permitted me to go and see Swamiji. It was only when I told them that my name was Col. Thakur Singh and that I wanted to see Swamiji that they permitted me to go in. For three hours then Swamiji, whom I recognised as Netaji, talked to me about the politics of various countries and what was happening everywhere. At half past one he called out, and asked whether the midday meal was ready. He told me also to go and have my midday meal. I told him I wanted to ask a question, and then asked him about a unit which had been formed in Singapore to which Netaji had told me to go. Swamiji was sitting alone when I went into the room. I recognised Netaji by his talk and not by his appearance because his complexion was different. Swamiji was a little darker than Netaji, whom I had known to be fair-complexioned and pink. I did not recognise Netaji, when I first went into the room and saw him. It was only later when talking to him that I realised that he was Netaji. I did not ask him why he was wearing saffron-coloured clothes. Whenever we used to salute Netaji we used to close our eyes on account of fear. But I did not close my eyes when I saw Swamiji that day. He is not an ordinary man. When I addressed him as Netaji, he told me to shut up. It is not true that he was somebody else and not Netaji."

All that it need be said about this witness is that he defies reason and belief. The story narrated by him is manifestly false.

7.23 I do not propose to examine each and every encounter of this kind and will content myself by referring to two or three more instances only. The most important of these is the incident deposed to by Usman Patel (Witness No. 32). His story is:

"I went to Nagda after this Commission had sat in Bombay. I heard that some Baba had come to Nadga. I was told this by a man called Shukla from Bhangra near Gwalior...Chiranjitlal Sharma, an officer of the Forest Department also gave me the same information...These two men asked me to go and see Baba and identify him. They had stayed with the Baba for some time. They did not know who this Baba was. I had not seen this Baba before. These two men took me to Nagda. I went straight to the hermitage of Baba. Information of my arrival was sent the Baba. We obtained the permission of Baba to see him and all of us went inside. There was a chowkidar outside, but he, too was our man. The chowkidar belonged to Nagda and was engaged by the Baba. It was 4 P.M. There is no electricity in Nadga. There was daylight inside the room. Baba was present. Baba was sitting on a charpoy. The room measured about 30' X 15'.We sat about 10 ft. away from the Baba. The Baba was then wearing only a loin cloth. My two guides told the Baba that they had brought Usman Patel, that is myself. The Baba began to weep and I also was in tears. I wept because I remembered Netaji. I do not know why the Baba wept. There was no other reason for my weeping. I spoke to Babaji and asked him why he had grown a beard and put me in trouble? Baba made no reply. I again said why he had ruined us. I told him that he had become a Sadhu and grown a beard and abandoned us. I became angry and left the Baba and came out."

After this somewhat unsatisfactory interview, the witness was again taken to the same Baba.

"On the second occasion, Babaji called me at night. On the second occasion I reached Nagda at 6 P.M. The Baba called me at 10 P.M. and told me that, in future, if I wanted to see him I should go to him in the evening and not during the day...I went inside the room...I saw the Baba had shaved his beard. I went and touched the Baba's feet and sat down near him. He asked me what I was doing. I told him that I was working as a labourer wherever I could get work."

The witness went to Captain Talwar and told him that the Baba looked like Netaji. He asked Captain Talwar to accompany him to Nagda and verify the fact for himself. The story of the visit is described by Captain Talwar (Witness No. 175) himself. Asked if he knew Usman Patel, Captain Talwar said that he had met him only recently when Patel had gone to see him on August 14, 1970. Captain L. C. Talwar went on to say:

"I was sitting in my office. A few INA people were surrounding me and he wanted to speak to me alone. I told him. 'Wait a bit and let me finish with these people, then I will give you a chance'. After that I took him to another room, next room and he asked me to accompany him to Nagda to Swami Jyotirmoy Dev and he also asked me to take a few of the INA people 'because the man, Sadhuji who is Netaji, is in danger and he wants some INA people.' I replied that I cannot take INA men with me unless and until I am myself satisfied that he is Netaji...On the next morning, i.e.the 15th, we started from here (Delhi). We remained one night at Agra because the bridge was broken and next day we started for Gwalior. 16th/17th night we were in Gwalior, and on the 18th evening we reached Shivpur Kalan in District Morena. From there I was taken to a house that is in village Raipur. I forget to mention that there was another man also with Usman. His name is Kartar Singh. We three had left Delhi on the same day together. So, Kartar Singh took me to his own house which was in village Raipur. Kartar Singh is an agriculturist and he has got some land there. He belongs to U. P. and is settled there...I wrote a chit on that evening but it was sent to Swamiji, or Babaji, whoever he is, the next day. I will show you the chit. It is on my own letter-head and I wrote: 'Respected Swamiji, I am here, at Raipur, as desired. I may kindly be permitted to have your darshan'. On the 18th morning, it was sent through a messenger to Swamiji and the messenger told me when he delivered this chit to Swamiji he asked for a pencil to make some notes and Swamiji wrote this reply with his own hand on the back of the chit. In that he had written two lines for me: 'Main nahin janta tum kaun ho aur kis sabab se Raipura main rah rahe ho.' (I do not know who you are and why you are staying in Raipura). Then there was a message for Kartar Singh, which read: 'Kartar Singh, tum bare behooda aadami ho. Kya ab bhi muje satane se baaz nahin aayoge. Eashwar ke liya mujh bridh sant...' I cannot read...On receiving this chit, I was very much annoyed and asked these people - Usman Patel and Kartar Singh, why they had brought me here from Delhi. He replied: Actually a messenger came from the Ashram or the Mandir, or whatever it was, and he told me that Swamiji wants that you should go to Delhi and bring Captain Talwar of the I.N.A. So I asked him to bring that messenger and I will enquire myself."

The visit to the Ashram then followed and Captain Talwar accompanied by a Sikh Doctor and an Advocate from Gwalior went to the Ashram on the 20th.

"We reached there in about half an hour's time and the chowkidar stopped us at the gate. Actually I told them not to say that I am Captain so and so from Delhi. They asked me to keep quite and we shall let you know."

The three visitors entered Swamiji's Ashram. The Swami was, apparently, undergoing a fast and was extremely weak. The visitors stayed there for about five minutes, and spoke to him but the Swami merely moved his hands and did not speak. Captain Talwar said:

According to him he was not Netaji.

On the question being repeated Captain Talwar answered that the man he saw was not Netaji.

"I am sure hundred per cent that he was not Netaji. His way of talking was also not that of Netaji."

Indeed according to Captain Talwar, the Swami was extremely angry with Kartar Singh, who, he said, was exploiting him. He addressed Kartar Singh in the following words: "Aapko sharm nahin aati ki meri is halat main mujhe dhoka de kar ise under le aaye." (Are you not ashamed that you have brought him here by deceit to see me in my present condition).

7.24 A few more witnesses fall into this category and a brief reference to their evidence may be made. The first of these is Datta Jagtap (Witness No. 83). He says that in 1951 two persons complained against him to Netaji and Netaji called him at Khalapur, a small village near Khopoli on the Bombay-Poona Road. These men came with weapons, and under duress, took the witness to Khalapur. Netaji, whom he knew, because he had seen him twice, once in 1937-38 at Haripura and the second time at the Tripuri Congress, reprimanded him because he (witness) had married the wife of Dr. G. D. Naik, a political leader of Goa. He says that in 1968, he went to Manipur to meet Netaji, once again but could not do so. The witness's evidence is a bunch of lies and he cannot be believed. There is no reason whatsoever why Bose, living incognito, should have sent for a man he did not know and reprimand him.

7.25 The second witness is P.M. Karapurkar (witness No. 84). He is the Agent of the Central Bank of India at Sholapur. He claimed that he receives direct messages from Bose by tuning in his body like a radio receiving apparatus. Nothing further need be said about this fatuous story. The witness has never met Netaji in person, and has only seen his pictures. It passes comprehension how the witness is metamorphosed into a radio receiving set or why Bose should have chosen him to send messages which he (witness) stoutly refuses to disclose, because by doing so he would be violating Bose's confidence.

7.26 The third witness is S. P. Kattimath (Witness No. 85). He is the Divisional Officer, Dharwar in the Life Insurance Corporation. He said that he gets messages from Bose through some of his followers and close associates. He, however, declined to name the person who brought these messages to him and what the substance of the messages was.

7.27 Another witness whose evidence must be noted here is Dr. B. Ramachandra Rao (Witness No. 80). It may be stated, at the outset, that he admitted to being a neurological patient, and had spent some time in hospitals for treatment. He is obviously a person with a deranged mind. His evidence is at variance from the evidence of other witnesses. He says that he travelled with Bose in a submarine from Germany. He says that he was the only Indian in the submarine and even excludes the presence of Abid Hussain who is said by everyone to have accompanied Netaji from Kiel to Sumatra and Tokyo. Rao says that Bose did not change the submarine enroute, and he travelled in the same submarine from Germany to Tokyo. He says that he was Bose's medical attendant and was at Saigon, at the end of the War, when Bose arrived from Bangkok. His story is that, at Bangkok, a member of the Harakiri Squad was chosen to pilot the plane which Bose, the witness and a number of other persons entered. It was planned that as the British 14th Division was pressing through and Bose was being hunted, a fake air crash should be arranged to save Bose. So the plane took off and landed at Japanese emergency landing place after 20 or 25 minutes. The witness went on to say:

"The pilot and some of the luggage were left in the plane, and perhaps 2 or 3 other persons were also left in the plane. Myself, Netaji and 2 or 3 persons also came out. The sword of Netaji was in the plane and some other belonging of Netaji and some of the wearing apparel of Netaji were also left in the plane, on the instructions of a Japanese intelligence officer."

Bose was transferred to the Japanese barracks near this emergency landing place. Bose, the witness and the other persons in the party stayed at this place for 5 or 6 days, and then a German submarine arrived there. The examination of the witness proceeds thus:

Q: Did you see Netaji getting into the submarine?
A: After the submarine arrived he was in conference for a lot of time as to where to go and what to do. He asked the commander, "Can you just push us to USSR?"
Q: In your presence he asked this?
A: Yes, Netaji asked the Commander of the submarine. But he was not sure. Subsequently the submarine left after erasing the Swastika mark.

The witness stayed on for 2 or 3 days and then came to Singapore.

7.28 It is quite clear that the story narrated by the witness is no more than the outcome of hallucination or the product of a demented mind. Nothing more need be said about this witness.

7.29 Rajaram Dixit (Witness No. 26), an advocate of Mainpuri in the State of the Uttar Pradesh, is another instance of psychopathy, for his story is so utterly fantastic that only a person with a deranged mind could have narrated it in all seriousness as Dixit undoubtedly did. This, in brief, is what he said:

7.30 Dixit's father died when he was only 14 months old, but his father's sister's son Raghuvindra Dayal who was a Sadhu and a Guru, adopted him and trained him to work on the National Congress from the early age of 6. Dixit grew up to be a zealous patriot and a true congressman: but when in 1938 or 1939, Bose paid a visit to Kanpur, Where Dixit was now living, he disobeyed the party's advice to abstain from taking part in welcoming Bose. "I took pride in breaking such advice rather than in its strict observance", he said. Dixit, though only 21 at the time, made all arrangements for Bose's reception and his address to a mammoth gathering in Shraddhananda Park. Bose arrived, was received and was seen off by Dixit, but on that occasion, the only word he was able to say to Bose was 'Namaste', because Bose's motor car was surrounded by a group of admirers, and Dixit could not get close enough to say more.

7.31 The next time when Bose visited Kanpur, to address a meeting, Dixit sat with him on the dais. This sudden catapulting into prominence and Bose's confidence was achieved not by writing to Bose or conversing with him but through what must have been a process of thought communication. In obedience to a secret instruction sent by Guru Raghuvindra Dayal from his death bed, he (Dixit) waited for an opportunity to have contact with Bose, and the opportunity to achieve this objective was afforded by Bose's second visit to Kanpur. By then the British authorities had received intelligence reports of Dixit's political leanings, and had sent a posse of C.I.D. men to surround him. Contact with Bose lost after this visit when Bose left the country and went away to Germany. In course of time, Dixit read newspaper reports of Bose's death in an aircrash at Taihoku, but he disbelieved the story, "because I knew that Netaji is a superman having a big diplomatic brain."

7.32 In 1950, Dixit had the good fortune to see Bose again. The meeting took place in strange circumstances at Bombay. The Rajkumari of Mainpuri, also known as the Rani Sahiba, fell seriously ill, and she asked Dixit to help her. He took her to Lucknow where the doctors advised her to go for treatment at the Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital in Bombay. Dixit made the arrangements and the Rani Sahiba, accompanied by the wife of the Governor of Uttar Pradesh arrived in Bombay! Dixit stayed in Bombay while the Rani Sahiba was being given medical attention.

7.33 Whenever Dixit came out of his house in Bombay and wherever he went he "was surrounded by hundreds of foreign girls", who were all spies of different nationalities. This strange assembly of girls, known to be spies, however, did not arouse the curiosity of any one, and not even the police took any notice of their unconcealed, almost brazen, subversive activities. Once an attempt was made to shoot Dixit by Nanavaty, an officer of the Indian Navy, who became notorious for killing his wife's paramour. According to Dixit, Nanavaty and his wife were "first-class spies of Britain". One day Dixit was taking the air and walking along the road by the sea-side, when

"All of a sudden, a healthy and stout man, guarded by another man, came to me. And the moment he came near me, he said, "Look here. I am Netaji." He was dressed in the dress of a Kabuliwalla. And I had a serious and thorough look at his face like this to see whether he was Subhas Babu or somebody else. And I was convinced that he was Subhas Babu. Then I began to dance."

The witness suited his action to the words, by performing a brief terpsichorean act. The examination of the witness proceeded thus:

Commission: Did a crowd collect there?
Shri Dixit: Not at all, because we were only three, the guard, Netaji and I. I forgot to tell him anything because of joy at that time for two minutes. I was so much overjoyed.
Commission: He also watched you dance?
Shri Dixit: He laughed very loudly, he burst into laughter. Then, after that, Sir, I said to him, 'You are here. Have you come to know of the tragedy which happened to me.' He said, 'Yes, I know, You were going to be shot dead by the British spies. And they are British spies. I have already this information with me.'

7.34 Dixit said that he had a long discussion with Bose on that occasion. He told him that he (Dixit) had been approached by conspirators, who had planned Mahatma Gandhi's murder, to join them. Dixit, however, refused. Witness, therefore, claims to have had previous information of Mahatma Gandhiji's murder, but he was not examined by the Kapur Commission investigating into the matter, though (he says) he sent an affidavit to the Commission. It is obvious that Mr. Justice Kapur declined to believe Dixit's absurd story and thought it unnecessary to examine him personally.

7.35 Dixit went on to say:

"In the roaring voice of a lion he told me, 'I assure you a day will come when I will make a thorough probe in this matter and put it before the world. I give you this suggestion. Don't care for anybody else in this world. He gave this suggestion...Only his bodyguard was there. Nobody else came. Nobody else was there. Nobody else, except his guard was allowed to be present there." Questioned if he Bose had sat close to one another, the witness said: "We were intelligent enough to take our seats in separate places, and to talk in such a manner that others would not come there, nor could listen to what we were talking. We were intelligent people talking. He gave me his assurance in a roaring voice."

The witness's examination proceeded:

Commission: But when anybody roars, usually in Bombay, a crowd collects
Shri Dixit: The roaring was just for me, just for my hearing, not for others. Then, My Lord, when he gave this assurance, I stopped weeping, and I was again very happy and I again started dancing out of joy, because he gave me this assurance. Then I was very angry and he was smiling at the...
Commission: Very angry? For what?
Shri Dixit: Yes, Sir, because this was the last meeting, I was angry with my fate. But he was smiling. Then again, in the end, in a loud voice, Netaji told me, 'Do your duty. Don't care for anyone else in this world. I am there. I am alive', and he gave me the order also, pointing out to those girls, 'Go and do your duty there. This is the country's cause.'
Commission: What sort of duty would it be with the girls there?
Shri Dixit: Having to unearth the secrets of the foreign countries by having contacts with them.

7.36 The witness was asked if he had spoken about this meeting to anyone, and he replied: "No, Sir. I declared, therefore, that Netaji was alive. Wherever I went people came to me and put this question: Is Netaji alive? And I said, he is alive. Then they thought that I was mad."

7.37 The third and last meeting with Bose took place at Mainpuri in February or March 1969. On the occasion Bose was in the Rani Sahiba's garden and Dixit went to see him there. Bose was alone and was wearing a lungi round his nether limbs, while the upper part of his body was bare. He was, however, wearing, what the witness called 'precious shoes', precious because 'they were very beautiful to look at.' Bose wanted to have a bath at the tube well and Dixit asked his servant to work the tube well motor. Dixit said that he was quite sure that he recognised the person whom he had met in Bombay and whom he had met earlier in Kanpur. Bose stayed in Mainpuri for 5 days, conversing with the witness every day, also he drank the milk of a black cow arranged by Dixit. Said Dixit:

"I thought for Netaji, I must make special arrangements for his food. He said: 'I do not take food or fruit.' Then I said: 'Would you like cow's milk?' He said: 'Yes, that is the correct thing.' So I arranged for this black cow. It used to roam about in the garden, eating the grass the whole day and it used to give the best milk."

7.38 Finally, the witness claimed to have received messages from Bose and the latest message he received was on Christmas day in 1970. Bose on that occasion told him that he would keep a strict watch over the proceedings of the present Commission.

7.39 No comment on this palpably false and fantastic story is called for. That Dixit, an obscure lawyer of Mainpuri, should have been singled out by Bose for clandestine meetings and intimate conversation could only have been imagined by a diseased mind or a person so utterly lost to all regard for truth that he could on oath, tell blatant and transparent lies.

7.40 It will be seen from these narratives that there is no dearth of stories invented to prove that Bose is still alive. Knowing Bose's character, his temperament, his antecedents and the part he played both before and after his departure from India in January 1941, it is impossible to believe that he could have conducted himself in the manner described in the above stories. There was no need for Bose to masquerade himself as a sadhu or a Swami and while revealing his identity to persons whom he had known slightly only he need not have asked them to keep the matter secret. He is alleged to have appeared with his face completely uncovered in public places such as the funeral of Pandit Nehru, as a member of the Mongolian delegation to China and so being recognised by the persons who knew him well. Yet, at the same time, we are asked to believe that Bose was taking every precaution to conceal his identity so much so that he made gestures of silence to those whom he met, and asked them not to reveal his identity. The meetings were, in all cases, accidental and quite unanticipated. But they never had any purpose or any meaning. Most of the persons who claimed to have met him were not his intimate associates or political workers personally known to him. Some of them had never met him in person and their knowledge of his facial features was gained from old photographs. Others were certainly not on such intimate terms with him that he should have singled them out for a private indeed, a conspiratorial discussion. The complete collection of these stories reads like Arabian Nights Entertainments or exploits in a strange wonderland in which nothing seems real or rational. In the same category falls the story related by Gora Chand Sanyal (Witness No. 6) who says that he was in charge of the prisoners of war camp in Singapore in August or September, 1945. Sanyal's story is not a direct story, for it is merely an account he heard from someone else. It is interesting because it is indicative of the manner in which witness in the course of this inquiry have tried to strain human credibility in their endeavour to add importance to themselves. He says that among the prisoners in Singapore was Kazu Hiko in the Jurang Road camp, who acted as Bose's driver. Sanyal said:

"One day when I was working in the camp, detailing the Japanese drivers for driving convoys, clearing debris and different other works, this Kazu Hiko came to me and told me a very interesting story about Netaji's mysterious departure from Singapore. To be very frank, as I love Netaji, as I adore Netaji and as I worship Netaji I was very inquisitive to learn the story from him. He told me that along with the Japanese General and these two swords he drove Netaji along Bukidimah Road down to the submarine base and Netaji told this driver to wait there for half an hour and if they did not return by that time the driver should take the car back to the camp...They did not return and afterwards I told the driver to drive my car and as a matter of fact I appointed him as my own driver. So long as I stayed in the camp this Kazu Hiko was driving my car, and one day he handed over the two swords to me when he came to know that I came from Calcutta, the place of Netaji."

One of the two swords is said to be the one which Bose wore with his military uniform. The manner in which the swords were brought back to India was also unusual. According to Sanyal these swords were kept concealed in a rubber plantation in Singapore. Then, when he was returning to India he brought them in his hold-all. He says that, one evening, he happened to meet the late Air Marshal Subrato Mukherjee and asked him to take him to India. The Air Marshal was going to India in his plane and gave a seat to Sanyal.

Sanyal brought those swords to India, handed them over to his mother where they remained unknown for several years. The witness disclosed the possession of the swords only in 1969 when he spoke of the matter to Moni Chakraborty, a reporter of the newspaper, Jugantar. The story was then published in Jugantar of 3-4- 1969 (Exhibit No. W-8/E). The entire story narrated by Sanyal constitutes hearsay evidence for he is merely stating what he heard from Kazu Hiko. The identity of the swords has not been established by independent evidence, and the long period of complete silence on the part of the witness is a factor which induces disbelief of the witness's testimony. I find it difficult to believe that the Air Marshal would, disregard military rules and carry a passenger in his special plane when there was no urgency about Sanyal's return to India, and there was no other reason for departing from the norms of conduct.

7.41 The last piece of evidence in this category to which a reference must be made is the story told by Usman Patel of a fake crash at Taipei to cover Bose's escape. He says that he was one of the 30 in the battalion which constituted Bose's bodyguard. He remained Bose's bodyguard till the 18th August, 1945. His story is as follows:

"On the 18th of August, I accompanied Netaji at 8 or 8.30 A.M. We reached Saigon at about 10.30 A.M. We stayed there for an hour and a half. There the aircraft was refuelled. We left Saigon at 11.30 A.M. We reached Taipei at about 12.30 or 12.45...There were in all four persons in the aircraft, including the pilot of the plane as the fourth man. Netaji, Col. Habibur Rahman and myself were the three persons and the pilot the fourth one........
Q: How big was the aircraft? Was it a big one or a small one in which you went to Taipei from Singapore?
A: It was neither a small aircraft nor a big aircraft. It was enough to accommodate 8 or 10 passengers. When We landed at Taipei, Mr. Rash Behari Bose's wife and her two sons and Japanese officers Nikame and Somane were present. These people were all in the rest house and they came to welcome Netaji. A little later, Mrs. Rash Behari Bose asked the Japanese sepoys to give both of us, Col. Habibur Rahman and myself food. So, Col. Habibur Rahman and I went to the mess. The food was ready, and I had taken only 2 or 3 morsels, when a Japanese came and said that I was wanted by Netaji. I left my food and ran to Netaji. Netaji asked me to set fire to the aircraft. I picked up two two-gallon tins of petrol. I entered the aircraft. The pilot was sitting in his seat. I sprinkled petrol on all the seats and other places. After sprinkling petrol, I came near the door of the aircraft, and with a lighted match, set fire to the aircraft. I was, at that time, standing inside the aircraft near the door. I jumped out and at once the pilot took off the plane. The plane would have gone up about 50 feet. The pilot took aircraft up to 50 or 60 feet. Then he crashed it to the ground. He himself parachuted out. The pilot landed on the ground first and he ran to where Netaji was...I went to Netaji. Netaji sang a song. Rash Behari Bose's wife and her two sons and Japanese Captains Nikame and Somane and Japanese Sepoys, all sang the song. Col. Habibur Rahman ran to the plane to take out his box. He took out the-box and in doing so, he sustained several burn injuries. He suffered injuries in his hand and on his face. He also sustained a cut on his big toe...Netaji took off his military clothes and put on Japanese clothes...Netaji asked me to stand near a pillar on one side. The Japanese soldier tied my hands to the pillar of the rest-house. After this, the Japanese tied a bandage over my eyes. Then Netaji said, see Patel, time is bad. Enemy is on all the four sides. It is difficult for me to save myself and I (Patel) should go back to India. After this all of them went away. I do not know where they went away because I could not see as my eyes were bandaged. Some time later, the Japanese soldiers untied me from the pillar. I saw Col. Habibur Rahman was lying down. Except one or two soldiers there was no one at all. Habibur Rahman was taken to the hospital. I got an empty-shell and put Netaji's clothes in this and buried it in a trench which was there. I covered it with earth and levelled it."

When questioned if he had related the story to anyone, he said:

"I did not relate the story of the burning of the aircraft, its crash and the disappearance of Netaji either to Mahatma Gandhi or to Mr. Nehru because India was not at that time free. I did not relate the story to anyone till I appeared before the Shah Nawaz Khan Committee. When the Shah Nawaz Khan Committee was still in India and before it left for Japan, I went and related the whole story to Mr. Nehru. I related the story also to Shah Nawaz Khan. Shah Nawaz Khan did not permit me to appear before the Committee to give evidence. I did not approach any newspaper reporter at that time nor did I tell anyone my story."

The witness claimed that he knew Mr. Nehru well and Mr. Nehru had conferred favours on him.

7.42. The story of his visit to Mr. Nehru is described as follows:

"At Delhi I tried to see Mr. Nehru for three days, but I could not see him. On the fourth day I put on my INA uniform and went to his residence. I stood up at the gate of Mr. Nehru's residence when he came home in his car. He recognised me because he had seen me frequently at the Red Fort. He got down from the car and put his hand on my shoulder and asked me: 'Patel, when did you come?' He asked me why I had not seen him before. I told him that I was waiting there for three days and I was not allowed to enter. He took me inside the house. I was given food, and Mr. Nehru was sitting opposite me. Suddenly, I thought I saw Netaji standing there. I left my food and stood up. I told Mr. Nehru the full story. I fell down at his feet and begged him to take me with him so that I could show him the place where Netaji's clothes had been buried by me...I left Nehru's bungalow and went to Maulana Azad's bungalow. Maulana Azad recognised me. I asked Maulana Azad what the truth was and he told me that 'I had been with Nehru and had talked with him.' I said that unless he told the whole truth, I would commit suicide in his presence...He told me that he was going to write a book before he died and that he would mention this matter in that book."

It is clear that Usman Patel is either given to hallucinations or has woven a completely false story round two basic facts viz, Habib is said to have sustained burn injuries and Maulana Azad wrote a book of which some pages are not to be revealed for several years. The witness has tried to include these two facts in his story. The story, however, is totally at variance with the version of Bose's journey as narrated by all other witnesses, and according to him Bose left Saigon on the 17th August and not on the 18th.

7.43 I find it impossible to accept any part of the story narrated by this witness.