India's government has started declassifying secret files to settle questions over the death of Subhash Chandra Bose, a Congress party leader who formed a national army to fight British colonial rulers with the help of the Japanese in the 1940s.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released digital copies of 100 secret files on Saturday relating to Bose's life.

India's Civil Aviation Mnister Mahesh Sharma said Modi already has informed Bose's family that the government possessed "only circumstantial evidence and not any direct evidence about his death.'"

After India gained independence in 1947, two inquiries concluded Bose died in a plane crash in 1945. A third concluded he did not die in the reported crash.

The Bose family didn't believe in the plane crash conclusion and sought declassification of government files.