A UK website set up to catalogue the last days of Subhas Chandra Bose has released the evidence given by a Taiwanese official who claimed to have prepared Netaji’s body for cremation after his death in a plane crash in 1945.
The testimony, contained in UK Foreign Office file No FC1852/6 and dating back to 1956, is among the last few documents to be released by www.bosefiles.info set up to establish that the Indian freedom fighter died in the crash on the outskirts of an airfield in Taipei on August 18, 1945.
“Taiwanese official Tan Ti-Ti, who was in charge of issuing cremation permits in Taipei, together with that of other local officials, put to rest any controversy about the last rites performed on Subhas Bose’s body,” the website said.
There has been controversy for decades as to whether the account of the plane crash is true, despite two Indian government investigations concluding that is how Bose met his end.
The proof contained in the Taiwanese police report sent to the British Foreign Office was, the file indicates, forwarded by the British High Commission in Delhi to the Indian government in July 1956.
Albert Franklin, British Consul General in Taiwan, wrote to the Taiwanese government requesting an investigation into the death of Bose on May 15, 1956.
In response, C K Yen, Chairman of the Taiwan Provincial Government, sent a detailed police report dated June 27, 1956.
This included an interview with Tan Ti-Ti, who said the cremation took place on August 22, 1945.
A Japanese army officer who accompanied the body told Ti-Ti: “The deceased was Bose, the Indian leader (on occasions he mentioned him as the Indian commander) who, proceeding to Tokyo on important business, was injured when his plane was involved in an accident.”
The previous day — August 21, 1945 — the same Japanese officer, according to Tan Ti-Ti, “submitted the death certificate of a certain Ichiro Okura.”
Yen clarified to Franklin that during World War II in the case of military personnel (Bose was then Supreme Commander of the Indian National Army) without family members in Taiwan, “permission for cremation was granted on the strength of a certificate from a military hospital.”
This appears to have occurred in the case of Bose.