A classified 60-year-old Japanese government document on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's death made public on 1 September concluded that the freedom fighter had indeed died in a plane crash in Taiwan on 18 August, 1945. This backs the official version which has been doing the rounds since decades.
Bosefiles.info, a UK website set up to document evidence on the circumstances surrounding Netaji's death, today said this is the first time the report titled 'Investigation on the cause of death and other matters of the late Subhas Chandra Bose' has been made public as it remained classified by Japanese authorities and was kept a secret by the Indian government.
"The report was completed in January 1956 and submitted to the Indian embassy in Tokyo, but since it was a classified document, neither side released it," the website says.
The seven-page report in Japanese and a 10-page translation in English reaches the conclusion that Netaji met with an air crash on 18 August, 1945 and died in a Taipei hospital the same evening.
"Immediately after taking off, the airplane in which he (Bose) rode fell to the ground, and he was wounded," the report notes in its 'Outline of the result of the investigation'.
It further records that at "about 3.00 pm he entered the Nanmon Branch of Taipei Army Hospital"; and that at "about 7.00 pm he died".
The findings also state that on "22 August, he was cremated (at the Taipei Municipal crematorium)".
In a more detailed description of the incident, the report says: "After the plane had taken off and risen about 20 metres above the ground, one petal of the three-petaled propeller of the left wing was suddenly broken, and the engine fell off.
"The airplane, subsequently unbalanced, crashed into ballast piles, beside the strip of the airport and was wrapped in flames in a moment."
"Mr Bose, wrapped up in flames, got off the plane; Adjutant Rahmin (Colonel Habibur Rehman) and other passengers exerted themselves to take his clothes off... his whole body was seriously wounded by burns."
The Japanese government report on the death of Netaji, who was 48 years old then, backs the Shah Nawaz Khan-led inquiry instituted by the then Indian Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru, which had investigated the matter later in 1956, according to a press release issued by the website.