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RTI reply gives new twist to Gumnami Baba saga

There seems to be a new twist in the mystery behind the identity of Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji, whom many believed was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.The development comes after the Central Forensic...

Updated: Feb 18, 2020 00:53 IST

By Umesh Raghuvanshi,

CFSL-Kolkata has said electropherogram of DNA report on Gumnami Baba’s‘teeth’ not available with it. (File Photo)

There seems to be a new twist in the mystery behind the identity of Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji, whom many believed was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

The development comes after the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL)-Kolkata revealed, in reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application, that the electropherogram (basic component of DNA analysis report) of the case (‘supposed teeth’ of Gumnami Baba) was not available with it (CFSL-Kolkata).

“The electropherogram report of this case is not available at CFSL Kolkata,” said BP Mishra, CPIO, CFSL-Kolkata, in the reply dated February 4, 2020 to a query filed by RTI activist Sayak Sen. Sen had filed the application last month.

“The CFSL’s disclosure has a direct bearing on the finding of the Justice Vishnu Sahai Commission saying that Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji was not Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The commission quoted the CFSL report to the hilt to reject the view that Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was the one and the same person. The DNA analysis was carried out at the behest of the Mukherjee Commission and Justice Sahai quoted Justice Mukherjee’s 2005 report, instead of seeking a fresh report by getting another DNA examination done, as demanded,” said Sen.



The Sahai Commission had observed, “Because the DNA finding in respect to Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji demolishes claims of those who firmly said Gumnami Baba was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, it is crystal clear that he (Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji) was not Netaji and some some other person who lived in Ram Bhawan, Faizabad (now Ayodhya).”

It quoted the Mukherjee commission report, pointing out that five of the nine teeth recovered from Ram Bhawan, Faizabad (now Ayodhya) were sent to CFSL-Kolkata for matching the blood samples of Netaji’s five family members — two from his father’s side and three from the mother’s side.

The Mukherjee Commission observed that the then CFSL- Kolkata director and DNA expert Dr VK Kashyap submitted a detailed report after examining three of the five teeth and the report found that the sample belonged to an old male, but did not match with the DNA of Netaji’s family.

“We have been saying that the DNA report relied upon by the Mukherjee Commission was fudged. The DNA report submitted to the commission did not have electropherogram, a must to analyse the DNA,” said Anuj Dhar who, along with Chandrachur Ghose, is the author of the 2019 book “Conundrum: Subhas Bose’s Life After Death.”

Both the writers have said the commission did not examine the available evidence scientifically. While concluding that Gumnami Baba was not Netaji, the commission gave 11-point findings about his personality that include an observation pointing to Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji as Netaji’s follower. “From items recovered from the part of Ram Bhawan (Faizabad, now Ayodhya), where Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji lived till his death, it cannot be ascertained that Gumnami Baba alias Bhagwanji was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose……. He (Gumnami Baba) was a follower of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. But he changed his residence when people started saying he was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.”

Justice Sahai, speaking to Hindustan Times, has said he dealt with all the aspects elaborately in his report and those criticising the report should read the commission’s complete 347-page report and not just the 130-page summary available on the Internet. The commission’s report was tabled in the Uttar Pradesh assembly on December 19, 2019.

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