The recently declassified Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose files reveal that India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to share Indian National Army or erstwhile Azad Hind Government’s gold, along with a sum of Rs 10 lakh, with Pakistan.The cash and jewellery were in the possession of the custodian evacuee property in Singapore.Nehru’s note of June 30, 1950, mentioned in secret file (no. 23 (156)/ 51-PM) in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) – ‘Disposal of Properties of Indian National Army (INA) in the Far East’ – mentions that “since it has been decided that the assets of INA/IIL funds should be divided between India and Pakistan in the ratio of 2:1, Pakistan might claim a part of this gold in which case it might lead to embarrassment if we were to take charge of it in its entirety now.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nehru, obviously, didn’t knew the value of the gold. In a letter dated November 12, 1953 he had asked the ministry of external affairs to take possession of the gold and inquire about its value. He also sent along a letter of authority as the gold and other funds of the INA, after Netaji’s reported death in a plane crash in 1945, were pledged under his (Nehru’s) name as PM of India.Subsequent inquiries done by the MEA revealed that the amount of gold was Rs. 37,956 at the then Singapore value. Plus, there was a sum of Rs.10 lakh which the Custodian of Enemy Property in Singapore held with him as property of the provisional government of Azad Hind.But as Nehru had gone ahead and done a lot of correspondence for the return of gold, he pursued further and got it back. As for the remaining and larger sum of Rs.10 lakh, Nehru finally decided to let it remain in Singapore and asked the MEA to use the interest accrued on it for giving scholarships for Indian students there, various correspondences in the file reveal.But an intriguing part of this file is that many of its papers were destroyed by Nehru’s PMO without mentioning any reasons, thus leaving out much of mystery about the INA treasure remain unsolved.The first two pages of the file clearly mention the reference numbers of various notes and letters that were destroyed and includes U.O.Note No. d/s-8666, dated August 24, 1953 from Prime Minister Secretariat (as PMO was then known) to Mohd. Yunus, Ministry of External Affairs, and U.O. Note No. D. 3788-8EA/53 dated August 27 from Mohd Yunus, MEA to PM’s Secretariat.It appears from the file that Mohd Yunus had sent another Memo No. 2/53/19713/601 (151) to Prime Minister Secretariat which was also destroyed.
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