Habib-ur-Rehman Khan, the ADC and co-passenger of Subhas Chandra Bose, told a committee that the leader’s clothes “were on fire” when their plane crashed in Taipei on August18, 1945, and burst into flames. Khan, who survived and went on to become Pakistan’s additional defence secretary after Partition, recalled the crash during his testimony to the three-member Netaji Inquiry Committee instituted by the Indian government in 1956. The panel was headed by Maj Gen Shah Nawaz Khan of Bose’s Indian National Army. His testimony was mentioned in the committee’s little-known report, now released by Ashis Ray, a senior London-based journalist who has been posting archival and other documents on a website to substantiate reports that Bose did not survive the plane crash. Bose’s relatives recently launched a fresh drive to pressure the Indian government to declassify all secret documents on Netaji so that the question of whether he survived the plane crash could be settled once and for all. The report includes several testimonies but Khan’s is significant and includes Bose’s quotes immediately after the crash. No sooner the plane was airborne than there was a loud explosion, according to Khan, who described it as “a noise like a cannon shot”. Khan, who died in 1978, recounted: “Netaji turned towards me. I said ‘Aagey se nikaleay, pichey se rasta nahin hai (Please get out through the front; there is no way through the rear).’ We could not get through the entrance door as it was all blocked and jammed by packages and other things. So Netaji got out through the fire; actually he rushed through the fire. I followed him through the same flames,”according to the Hindustan Times.