No crash at Taipei that killed Netaji: Taiwan govt

No crash at Taipei that killed Netaji: Taiwan govt
Kolkata, Feb 4 (PTI) The Taiwan Government has informed the one-man Netaji Commission of Inquiry that there was no air crash at Taihoku on August 18, 1945, till date believed to have killed Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Disclosing this to newspersons after a routine hearing of the Commission here, Justice M K Mukherjee said that the Taiwan Government has confirmed to the Commission during its recent visit to that country that no plane crashed at Taihoku between August 14 and September 20, 1945.

Justice Mukherjee said that the Taiwanese authorities, who confirmed this fact, promised to provide documentary proof within 15 days.

"During the period August 14 to October 25, 1945, no evidence shows that one plane had ever crashed at the old Matsuyama Airport (now Taipei Domestic Airport) carrying Mr Subhas Chandra Bose", Justice Mukherjee said quoting an e-mail sent by Lin Ling-San, Minister of Transportation and Communication, Taiwan government, to Anuj Dhar, a journalist.

The commission, which was provided two e-mails reportedly sent by Taiwanese authorities to Dhar, said "the Mayor of Taipei and the External Affairs Ministry of Taiwan government confirmed us the e-mails to be genuine".

According to one e-mail, there was no air crash during that period while the other made a reference to a crash on September 20-23, 1945, involving a USC-47 Transporter plane carrying 26 people, most of them believed to be former American POWs just released from camps in the Philippines.

That plane, the e-mail said, crashed on Mount Trident in Taitung area, about 200 nautical miles away from Taipei.

Justice Mukherjee said the Commission had asked Taiwan government to send some documents from the National Archives of Taiwan as also government records.

"We sought some documents, including the daily newspaper reports published in and from Taipei during August 18-24, 1945, containing any reference to Bose," he said.

The Commission has also sought documents related to cremation of dead people during that period at the old crematorium in Taipei and some records from the national archives for the years 1943-45, 1956, 1967 and 1973.

"They (Taiwan government) have asked for 15 days to despatch those records to us", he added.

Meanwhile, the Commission has examined a witness in Bangkok during its visit to Thailand.

The witness, Shk Husamuddin B Kapasi, ex-President of Indo-Thai Chamber of Commerce, informed the Commission that he had learnt from his father, a member of the Indian National Army and close associate of Netaji, that Bose had died in the crash.

The Commission, which would hold its hearing thrice a week during February for cross-examining witnesses, would wrap up its findings and finalise the report by May 15, 2005, as asked by the Centre, Justice Mukherjee said.

"We are not going to seek any extension. We will finalise our report by May 14", he added.

Justice Mukherjee, who heard the submissions of Dr Purabi Roy on the reported stay and death of Netaji in Russia after August 18, 1945, said he could not take those as evidence without cross-examination.

"We cannot take the submissions as evidences without cross-examination, which will require a visit to Russia", he said, adding that a visit to that country was "very unlikely" given the deadline for the report.

Dr Roy, a researcher of the Asiatic Society and a visiting lecturer at St Petersburg University, submitted 53 documents before the commission.

While refusing to comment if the commission's inquiry would be incomplete without a visit to Russia, Justice Mukherjee said "given a chance, we will go there as it will help the inquiry. The previous commissions also had not visited Russia as the claims were not put before them".

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