Bose and Russia~II

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A startling statement about Netaji’s Russian connection was made by Congressman Satya Narayan Sinha before the Khosla Commission in 1970. He said Netaji was in the Soviet prison of Yakutsk in Siberia. He said that in 1954 he was informed of this by Kozlov, a Soviet agent. Kozlov never testified before any Board of Inquiry, and as such, Sinha’s statement was treated as hearsay. Nevertheless, it sparked speculation that Bose had perished in the unbearable conditions of the Siberian prison or that he had been executed on Stalin’s orders. Such speculation resurfaced when a 2003 affidavit, submitted to the Mukherjee Commission, claimed that EN Komorov, senior research professor at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow, said: “Let’s take it this way . He [Netaji] was here and died here.

The Mukherjee Commission visited the Russian Federation in 2005 and examined Komorov. He denied ever making such a statement. The Commission also interviewed other Russian witnesses, in accordance with the statements of the affiant who presented the 2003 affidavit. Among them, the interrogation of Raikov is particularly noteworthy. This is because it exposes the enormity of the lie propagated. Referring to the affiant’s affidavit, the Commission asked Raikov whether he had been appointed by the Russian government to handle cases involving Subhas Chandra Bose. Raikov’s answer was ‘no’. He was then asked, with reference to the same statement, whether he had access to classified documents in the archives of the Federal Security Bureau and the Military Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. He said: “It’s absolutely absurd”.

The Commission asked if he had ever suggested that documents about Bose would be available in the Omsk archives. Again, the answer was a resounding “no”. There is also the story of a high-level meeting on Bose in Soviet Russia reportedly told by Alexandr Kolesnikov, former deputy chief of staff of the joint armed forces of the Warsaw Pact countries. Mr. Kolesnikov allegedly collected information from the Soviet military intelligence organization [GRU] about a file that would have revealed that in October 1946, Stalin, Molotov, Vyshinsky and Yaakov Malik were discussing in a meeting the decision to be made about Bose. This is a classic example of hearsay. Has anyone ever heard Mr. Kolesnikov cite any file No. Moreover, one will always wonder why Mr. Kolesnikov did not appear before the Mukherjee Commission to testify to this valuable “information”. The excuse given for his absence from the Commission hearing in Moscow is not convincing, especially given the importance of the issue.

This counterfactual greatly influenced those who were intimidated by the name and designation of the storyteller. Meanwhile, another story circulated for some time that the Provisional Government of Azad Hind had an embassy in Omsk in Siberia and that Bose was received there by a certain Kato Kochu. An interrogation report from Hachia, the Japanese envoy to the Provisional Government. of Azad Hind, is often quoted to make this story authentic. Close examination of this report will reveal how it has been twisted to spread a false narrative. The interrogation report of Hachia Toruo, the Japanese envoy, says: “Source [Hachia] arrived in Rangoon in March 1945 without any credentials… BOSE said there would be NO official business until the source’s credentials arrived…” “Source [Hachia] notes that the Japanese government does not seem to be in the habit of issuing credentials to its ambassadors to interim governments; an ambassador by the name of Kato Kochu was sent without powers to the provisional government of the OMSK in Siberia. Provisional Government of OMSK is introduced as Provisional Government. from Azad Hind to OMSK.

Japanese Ambassador Kato Kochu is also sometimes referred to as Netaji’s envoy to the OMSK. The actual contents of Hachia’s interrogation report are rarely made public. In a desperate attempt to establish, without any documentary evidence, that Bose was killed in Russia, an analogy to the fate of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg is frequently drawn. Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Jews in Hungary from the Nazis, was kidnapped by the Soviet army and then killed in Soviet prison. There are witness accounts and intelligence reports about Bose’s plan to go to Russia, his visit to Russia and his existence there in 1946. These documents never said that he died a natural death in a Siberian prison or that he had been executed on Stalin’s orders. Wallenberg, on the other hand, did not leave voluntarily for the Soviet Union.

He was kidnapped by the Red Army. Joint investigations by Russian and Swedish authorities found evidence that Wallenberg had been executed in the Soviet prison. Not a shred of evidence has been produced regarding Bose’s alleged death in Russia. The dissimilarities are too glaring to ignore. In the name of evidence on the end of Bose in Russia, a fiction has therefore been concocted. Some loved him because they could not accept the possibility of his return to India from “almighty” Soviet Russia. Death in Russia also seemed much more glamorous than his return. The so-called “death brigade” has successfully played on this psyche by circulating one fable after another. They must be stopped here and now.


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