Nehru was paranoid about Netaji even after his disappearance, shows IB memos & letters

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The Nehru administration had snooped on many a communication between the kin of Subhas Chandra Bose. Intelligence Bureau memos and letters in dna’s possession show that the snooping was not just limited to mails between the Bose family. Letters written by women who had kept Subhas Bose company in Europe were intercepted.

In addition, letters written to Bose’s nephew Amiya Bose by his political associates and friends were detained, copied and sent to the Home Ministry. dna had earlier pointed out how Intelligence Bureau (IB) sleuths were stationed at the Elgin Road post office in Calcutta in a bid to open letters addressed to Amiya who at the time was staying at Woodburn road in Bengal’s capital city.

At times, the writers of these letters engendered so much suspicion in the Nehru establishment that prompt background checks were carried out on these individuals. Handwritten notes were then dispatched to the Home Ministry as sleuths waited for further instructions on how to proceed against people in touch with the Bose family.

When Nehru Govt Sniffed Netaji in China

An IB memo (no:12586 TP. 605) dated July 30, 1949 shows that sleuths intercepted a letter addressed to Bose’s nephew Amiya Bose at the Elgin Road post office. A copy of the letter was made and promptly sent to the Assistant Director of the IB at the Home Ministry in Delhi. The letter was allowed to be delivered to Amiya.

The letter was written by a Chinese national Chou Hsiang Kuang. Kuang was a scholar at Delhi University and a good friend of Amiya. Bose had helped one of Kuang’s friends secure admission at the Jaipur Medical College. Amiya in previous letters to Kuang had asked him to help find out if Subhas Bose was somewhere in China.

The letter by Kuang to Bose dated July 22, 1949 reads: “I am so sorry I could not write to you earlier… As regards Netaji, I am still remembering what that appeared in the Central Daily News. It indicated that he was being kept at a camp somewhere in Manchuria.”

This was not the first letter of the Chinese scholar to Amiya that was intercepted. An IB memo (no: 5010 CP. 893) shows another letter was intercepted on March 9, 1948, less than a year after India’s independence. It reads: “I regret I could not find out about the news on Netaji that was published in a Chinese newspaper in Nanking sometime ago. I still believe that he (Netaji) is alive.”

It is quite ironical that the Nehru government was snooping on Kuang’s letters to find clues about the whereabouts of Subhas Bose. In May 1949, Kuang was appointed a lecturer in Chinese at the School of Foreign Languages under India’s Ministry of Defence.

The Mysterious ‘Spy of Netaji’ in First Kashmir War

Barely a month before India and Pakistan declared a formal ceasefire on January 2, 1949 to end the First Kashmir War, IB sleuths at the Elgin Road post office intercepted a letter from a man whose name was given but not address. The IB memo (no: 31942/CP. 893) shows that a letter from a man named Morad Khan, addressed to Amiya, was intercepted on November 16, 1949 in Calcutta. A copy was made and the letter was allowed to be delivered.

Interestingly, the interception was authorised by the Nehru administration through a government order (no: 1735 P.S) on September 20, 1948. This interception was ordered barely a month after a resolution containing terms of the ceasefire, including a plebiscite on Kashmir was laid out in the United Nations. Nehru had supported a plebiscite to decide on the status of Kashmir many times after the conflict began.

The letter (translated from Bengali by the IB) begins with ‘Netaji Zindabad’. From the letter it becomes apparent that Morad Khan was a man with deep knowledge of the discussions going on in Pakistan after India gained a decisive edge over it in the conflict. He wrote the letter to Amiya while he was in Calcutta.

The letter reads: “I am to come and go without a passport. It is risky and expensive. I had been to Lahore and went to Quetta and Rawalpindi because Europeans are holding big meetings there nowadays. They have discussed Nehru’s talks with Atlee and Liaquat Ali. Now the British officers are thinking of how to win the plebiscite in Kashmir.

“They will not agree to the judgment if they are defeated and a temporary war will break out again. All these are tricks of the British. Ofcourse we will try till the end that the votes are not in favour of Pakistan. We shall not allow Kashmir to go into their hands. Secret propaganda has already been started. Correspondence is going on (between Pakistan) and America. I could not secure the copies of those correspondences only for my foolishness.”

Morad Khan’s letter goes on to talk about an American spy in India by the name of ‘Mr Fredrick’. Khan warns Amiya that the ‘American spy’ is trying to foment trouble in India, especially in Bengal. The letter reads: “He (Fredrick) is surely behind the fire at the Calcutta Telephone Exchange. He has the support of the British monkeys and the Indian Communist Party. Occasionally he used to visit the Spencers restaurant in Calcutta opposite the Government House. He left for England on the same day when Nehru left. All the bloody Europeans also pay money to their India operatives like Ranaday, Bhattacharji, Chaudhri and others to create trouble. Amiya babu, be careful of these bastards. I heard they will blow a railway line somewhere.”

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