Shas­tri’s demise linked to Ne­taji?

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION - Prithvi­jit.Mi­tra @times­

Kolkata: For­mer PM Lal Ba­hadur Shas­tri’s sud­den demise in Tashkent may have been linked to his views on Ne­taji’s dis­ap­pear­ance and his ef­forts to form a sec­ond probe panel to solve the mys­tery, claim one of Shas­tri’s kin and an ac­tivist who is de­mand­ing de­clas­si­fi­ca­tion of the Ne­taji files.

Min­utes be­fore his death in Tashkent in 1966, Shas­tri had re­port­edly in­formed his fam­ily over phone that he would di­vulge some­thing that would shift the coun­try’s at­ten­tion from the con­tentious Tashkent dec­la­ra­tion that had just been signed. Shas­tri was also keen on set­ting up a sec­ond in­quiry com­mis­sion to probe the mys­te­ri­ous dis­ap­pear­ance of Sub­has Chan­dra Bose.

Ac­tivist and au­thor Anuj Dhar says “Shas­tri was in favour of an un­bi­ased in­quiry. It might have re­vealed the truth, which would have been un­ac­cept­able to many. It is sus­pi­cious that he died soon af­ter, with­out any ill­ness and be­fore he could re­veal what he wanted to.”

In re­sponse to an RTI filed by Dhar, the PMO had ad­mit­ted in 2009 that it had one doc­u­ment re­lat­ing to Shas­tri’s death which could not be dis­closed as it could harm for­eign re­la­tions.

Shas­tri’s grand­son San- jay Nath Singh says the PM had spo­ken to his fam­ily over phone less than an hour be­fore he was de­clared dead in Tashkent. Singh, who was nine then, was present in the room when he had called. “He wanted to know the re­ac­tion to the Tashkent agree­ment. When he was told that the op­po­si­tion had made a ruckus over it, he said that he would soon dis­close some­thing that will make the coun­try for­get the con­tro­versy. About 45 min­utes later, we got a call say­ing he was very ill. It was fol­lowed by another call in 10 min­utes which said he was dead ” says Singh.


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