PMO hands over first batch of Netaji files to National Archives for declassification

The Prime Minister's Office on Friday handed over the first batch of 33 files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to the National Archives.

Principal secretary to the prime minister, Nripendra Misra, officially handed over the first set of files related to Netaji to the director general of National Archives of India, setting the stage for their declassification beginning on 23 January 2016.

The files have been handed over to the National Archives ''for further processing, preservation and digitization, in preparation for the final release to the nation of all 58 files in the PMO,'' a PMO release said.

This marks an important milestone in fulfilling the long pending demand of the people of India, for the declassification of files related to Netaji, the release added.

The government has 134 classified files related to Netaji which are being examined for the purpose of declassification. The ministries of home affairs and external affairs are separately taking action for release of files under their custody.

The PM had on October 14 announced that the first batch of the secret files would be declassified from January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji.

The prime minister had categorically stated that his government did not believe in constraining or strangulating history in any way, and was committed to opening up information on Netaji to the people of India. He had assured Netaji's family that all possible effort would be made - from declassification of Netaji files to taking up the matter with other nations.

He had further promised that the declassification and public release of the files would begin on 23 January 2016, the birth anniversary of Netaji.