Netaji’s composure despite having burns surprised all: Bose’s interpreter

London, Jan 16 (IANS) Contending that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose died in a plane crash on August 18, 1945, a website based here quoted his interpreter as saying that the revolutionary leader’s composure despite having extensive burns all over his body “surprised” all those present at the Nanmon Military hospital in Taipei.

The website — www.bosefiles.info — which has been coming out with posts to corroborate the theory that Bose died hours after the afternoon plane crash on the outskirts of an airfield in Taipei, quoted the testimonies given at various times by five people who were present during the great leader’s final hours.

The witnesses included Nakamura — whose first name, according to the site was either Yoshikazu or Juichi — an interpreter who had worked with Bose during his visits to Taipei in 1943 and 1944.

Deposing before the 1956 Netaji Inquiry Committee headed by Shah Nawaz Khan, Nakamura said there was “not a word of complaint either of pain or suffering from his lips…This composure of Netaji surprised all of us.”

He said after Bose expired, the Japanese officers in the room stood in one line and saluted his body.

Captain Taneyoshi Yoshimi of the Japanese Army, who was the medical officer in charge of the hospital, claimed on October 19, 1946, that he had personally cleaned Bose’s injuries with oil and dressed them.

Yoshimi’s testimony, given at Stanley Gaol in Hong Kong where he was imprisoned by British authorities after World War II, was recorded by Captain Alfred Turner of the War Crimes Liaison Section of Taiwan, the website claimed.

“When he (Bose) was laid on the bed (of the hospital), I personally cleaned his injuries with oils and dressed them. He was suffering from extensive burns over the whole of his body, though the most serious were those on his head, chest and thighs. There was very little left on his head in the way of hair or other identification marks,” said Yoshimi.

He also said: “As most of his speaking was in English, a request for an interpreter was made, and one was sent from the civil government offices named Nakamura. He informed me that he had very often interpreted for (Subhas) Chandra Bose and had had many conversations with him. He appeared to have no doubt that the man he was speaking with was Chandra Bose.”

“After the fourth hour (following his admission to the hospital), he appeared to be sinking into unconsciousness. He murmured and muttered in his state of coma, but never regained consciousness. At about 2300 hours he died.”

In an interview to Ashis Ray, creator of www.bosefiles.info, in 1995, Yoshimi said: “A lieutenant called Nonomiya told me this is Mr. Chandra Bose, a very important person, and that I should save his life at any cost. That’s how I knew who he (Bose) was.”

When it became obvious to him that Bose’s condition was sinking, he asked Bose: “What can I do for you?”

Bose replied: “I feel as if blood is rushing to my head. I would like to sleep a while.” Yoshimi gave him an injection. After some time he was no more.

Another Japanese doctor, who treated Bose, was Toyoshi Tsuruta.

Between May and July of 1946, Lt.Col. J.G. Figgess of the British Army interrogated Tsuruta.

Tsuruta submitted to Figgess: “Bose asked him in English if he would sit with him throughout the night. However, shortly after seven o’clock (in the evening) he suffered a relapse and although the doctor once again administered a camphor injection, he sank into a coma and died shortly afterwards.”

Taiwanese nurse Tsan Pi Sha, who claimed to be by Bose’s side at the hospital, told visiting journalist Harin Shah in September 1946, that Bose breathed his last “on 18 August last year (1945)”.

She said: “I am a surgical nurse and took care of him till he died… I was instructed to apply olive oil all over his body and that I did.”

“Whenever he regained briefly his consciousness, he felt thirsty. With slight groaning, he would ask for water. I gave him water several times.”

The fifth witness was Netaji’s associate Colonel Habibur Rehman, who survived the crash.

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