While a declassified Intelligence Bureau (IB) files earlier revealed that the agency was spying on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's family under the orders of Jawaharlal Nehru government, another such file disclosed that it even shared the snooping details on Netaji's family with British Security Service (MI5).
On 6 October 1947, IB deputy director Balakrishna Shetty sent a copy of a letter sent by ACN Nambiar from Switzerland to Netaji's nephew Amiya in Calcutta (now Kolkata) to security liaison officer KM Bourne along with a note where he mentioned that the letter was "seen during secret censorship", according to the files obtained by India Today.
In the note, Shetty sought Bourne's comments on the letter intercepted from Nambiar, a close aide of Netaji.
"Attached is a letter dated the 19.8.47 from A.C. Nambier, Limmatqual 80, Zurich, Switzerland, to Amiya Nath Bose, 7 Woodburn Park, P.O. Elgin Road, Calcutta. The letter was seen during sercrey censorship and was passed on. We should be grateful for your comments on the letter," Shetty had written to Bourne.
The declassified files that were stored in the national archives were accessed by Mail Today and India Today. The secret information revealed that Netaji's family including his two nephews – Amiya Nath Bose and Sisir Kumar Bose – were under IB surveillance for nearly two decades, between 1948 and 1968.
Nehru allowed MI5 agent in New Delhi even after Independence?
The above disclosure brought forth another shocking information – Nehru had agreed to allow a Secret Service agent to be stationed at New Delhi even after the British rule had come to an end.
"This confirms revelations in the Christopher Andrew's 'The Defence of the Realm, The Authorised History of MI5' in 2009 that Prime Minister Nehru allowed an MI5 agent, called a 'Security Liaison Officer', in New Delhi," former special secretary of RAW V Balachandran said, adding that the letter to Bourne is "very very significant".
"What was not made public, however, was that during a visit to India in March 1947, the DDG, Guy Liddell, obtained the Nehru government's agreement for an MI5 officer to be stationed in New Delhi, after the end of British rule... In all other newly independent Commonwealth countries, as in India, the continued presence of an SLO became a significant, though usually undisclosed, part of the transfer of power," Balachandran added.
Balachandran said that Nehru government allowed MI5 liaison officers to stay in New Delhi until 1970s. It is also believed that the snooping on Netaji's family began during British rule and continued until Nehru's.