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Friday, December 22, 2006

PMO refuses to furnish data on Netaji

KOLKATA (22 Dec, 2006; 1039 hrs IST; PTI): The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has refused to furnish data on documents and records it held on the mysterious disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, saying that the disclosure would harm India's relations with foreign countries. "On verification of the classified files held by PMO, it is held that their disclosure will prejudicially affect relations with foreign countries," Sanjay Mitra, Joint Secretary to the Prime Minister and Appellate Authority in the PMO told Anuj Dhar. Dhar, a part of Delhi-based organisation Mission Netaji that has been campaigning to reveal the truth behind Netaji’s disappearance, had sought the declassification of the list under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The PMO's denial comes close on the heels of Chief Information Officer AN Tiwari's warning to the Union Home Ministry that it would take stern action if the ministry did not furnish the 202 documents on the leader that were in its possession. Mission Netaji had earlier requested Kamal Dayani, Central Public Information Officer to confirm if the PMO was holding classified records on Bose and provide a list of all such records along with the unclassified ones. In reply, Dayani provided a list of only the unclassified files, most relating to Bose's disappearance. In keeping with the RTI procedure, Mission Netaji reported the matter to the Appellate Authority in the PMO, complaining that Dayani's answer was "incomplete" because it has not responded to the request for the classified files. Dhar, a journalist who has written Back from the Dead: Inside the Subhas Bose Mystery , said he would take up the matter with the Central Information Commission.
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