TESTIMONIES OF TAIWANESE OFFICIALS IN UK FOREIGN OFFICE FILE PUT TO REST CONTROVERSY OVER SUBHAS BOSE’S CREMATION
January 21, 2016
London 20 January:
provided by a Taiwanese official, Tan Ti-Ti, who was in charge of
issuing cremation permits in Taipei, together with that of other local
officials, put to rest any controversy about the last rites performed on
Subhas Bose’s body.
Bose died as a result of a plane crash at Taiwan on 18 August 1945.
Ti-Ti personally attended to Bose’s body at the concerned crematorium.
His testimony is contained in the British Foreign Office’s file number
FC1852/6 of 1956.
also transpires from the file that Japanese army officers probably did
not issue a death certificate in Bose’s name to maintain secrecy about
Keng Yuan, who was the Director of the Health Centre in Taipei, stated
the matter of Bose’s death and whether the Cremation Permit was issued
under an assumed name “were important secrets of the Japanese military”.
proof contained in the Taiwanese police report sent to the British
Foreign Office was, the file indicates, forwarded by the UK High
Commission in Delhi to the Indian government in July 1956.
Tan Ti-Ti and C K Yen Testimonies:
Franklin, British Consul General in Taiwan wrote to the Taiwanese
government requesting an investigation into the death of Bose on 15 May
response, C K Yen, Chairman of the Taiwan Provincial Government, sent a
detailed police report dated June 27, 1956. This included an interview
with Tan Ti-Ti, who said the cremation took place on 22 August 1945.
Japanese army officer who accompanied the body told him: “The deceased
was Bose, the Indian leader (on occasions he mentioned him as the Indian
commander) who, proceeding to Tokyo on important business, was injured
when his plane was involved in an accident.”
previous day – 21 August 1945 – the same Japanese officer, according to
Tan Ti-Ti, “submitted the death certificate of a certain Ichiro Okura”.
clarified to Franklin that during World War 2 in the case of military
personnel (Bose was then Supreme Commander of the Indian National Army)
without family members in Taiwan, “permission for cremation was granted
on the strength of a certificate from a military hospital”. This appears
to have occurred in the case of Bose.
police findings based on a report prepared by Taiwan’s Department of
Health said: “There is a register of cremations at the Municipal Health
Centre (formerly under the Welfare Section of the Taipei Municipal
Government) and the officers of the Health Centre are of the opinion
that the entry (regarding cremating Bose) was made in the name of Ichiro
Ti-Ti confirmed that on the day of the cremation the same Japanese army
officer “came to the crematorium in a car in the company of an Indian”.
He went on to say “the Indian (it was said he was Bose’s follower, some
said he was an aide-de-camp; he was dressed in the white garment of
Japanese soldiers under medical care, wore slippers, parts of his face
were bandaged; he was tall and swarthy, wept bitterly and seemed
extremely sorrowful”. This was obviously Bose’s ADC Colonel Habibur
Rehman, who survived the crash, since the description fits him
Ti-Ti asserted he and another person called Lin Sui Mu opened the
coffin. He added the body of Bose had been “put into a coffin for
conveyance to Tokyo but the coffin was too big for aeroplanes available
at the time”. It was, therefore, cremated in Taipei.
next day (23 August 1945), the Indian (Col Rehman) and the same
Japanese army officer came to collect the ashes, Tan Ti-Ti further
Matches Colonel Habibur Rehman’s Testimony:
Ti-ti’s version of events matches with Col Rehman’s statement recorded
by him on 24 August 1945 (posted on 16 January 2016), which said: "I
requested the (Japanese) Army authorities to arrange for the early
transportation of the body either to Singapore or Tokyo, preferably to
went on: "On 21-8-45 a senior Japanese Staff Officer informed me in the
hospital that the length of box (coffin) did not allow the box being
put into the plane. He suggested that the body be cremated in Taihoku
(Japanese name for Taipei). Seeing no other alternative, I agreed to the
suggestion and the body was cremated on 22-8-1945 at Taihoku under the
arrangement of the Army authorities. The ashes were collected on
Corroboration of Harin Shah Visit:
Tan Ti-Ti also corroborated the visit to Taipei in 1946 of Indian journalist Harin Shah of the Free Press Journal. Shah had gone to investigate the circumstances of Bose’s death and cremation.