People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 19

May 08, 2011




Institute Judicial Probe Immediately


EVEN before the sound and fury of the union home minister's speeches in Bengal election campaign describing the state as the “worst administered in the country” and that the CPI(M) was turning it into “killing fields” settled, came the alleged revelations of Kim Davy, the mastermind of the Purulia arms drop in December 1995.


In the night of December 17-18, 1995, a plane full of deadly weapons were air dropped near the Anandmarg headquarters in Purulia district of West Bengal. According to the submission of the CBI to the special sessions court, Kolkata (February 2000), of the dropped 500 AK-47's only 87 have been recovered and of the 15 lakh rounds of ammunition and other deadly weapons only a fraction has been recovered. Will the home minister tell the country where these arms are now and who is creating these “killing fields”?


It was widely believed at that time that these arms were meant for the Anandmarg's anti-communist violence that it sought to unleash then in West Bengal. Recollect that the Anandmarg also carried out an unsuccessful assassination attempt against Comrade Jyoti Basu earlier. Kim Davy was partnered by Peter Bleach who is supposed to have procured the arms, according to the CBI's submission and the details were finalised at a meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark on August 18, 1995. That this was an international conspiracy can be attested by the fact that people belonging to at least six countries were associated with this operation.


While that the arms were meant to feed the Anandmargi's incendiary campaign is well known, what was revealed by Kim Davy, if true, points towards a grave complicity on the part of the then Indian government in allowing this deadly arms dropping to happen. Davy has alleged that the then Congress central government led by P V Narasimha Rao had allowed this to happen in order to use the consequent violence and anarchy in Bengal as a pretext to destabilise the duly elected state government. Elections to both the parliament and state assembly were due in 1996. Davy went further to allege that like the arming of various insurgency groups in Tripura and the consequent violence used to destabilise the Left government in the state earlier, a similar situation was sought to be created in Bengal.


The degree of credence that these allegations receive is based on the mysterious happenings at that time that remain unanswered till date. The information received by India from international agencies like the British MI 5 was casually treated. The central government's communication about this alert was sent to the West Bengal state government by registered post, which reached the later well after the arms were dropped. How could a foreign plane that took off from Pakistani territory enter the Indian air space? If it entered unnoticed then it is a serious lapse endangering our country's security. If however, it entered due to a complicity of the then union government, then the matter is much more serious. If this was so, then the allegations concerning the central government's desire to destabilise the Left Front government acquire a high degree of credibility.


The matter is much more serious in the sense that, if this allegation is true, the central government itself permitted a grievous breach of Indian security to allow these arms to be dropped. Secondly, such efforts by the central government are tantamount to undermining the very foundations of our constitution that has federalism as one of its hallmarks. It is indeed a grave matter that in order to achieve its political and electoral objectives, the central government led by the Congress party was prepared to undermine this very constitution under whose oath they were in office. What is worse is the fact that after the plane was intercepted after the arms were dropped, and was forced to land in Mumbai, Kim Davy was simply allowed to walk-free. His partner Peter Bleach along with the six-member Latvian crew of the aircraft (who later adopted Russian citizenship), were initially arrested and detained. While the Russian crew was later released, Peter Bleach was tried and sentenced for life-imprisonment.


In a bizarre and unexplained manner, the BJP led NDA government decided to release Peter Bleach under a presidential pardon. Incidentally, the Trinamool Congress chief was then a member of this cabinet when this decision was taken. This decision by the NDA government came in the background of a series of statements made earlier that there was no question of any acceptance of Bleach's plea for clemency. On July 31, 2003, the union home ministry under L K Advani informed the Delhi High Court that president APJ Abdul Kalam has rejected a plea to release Bleach. However, on January 30, 2004 the president's order remitting the rest of Peter Bleach's sentence under Section 72 (1B) in response to his prayer for clemency reached the home secretary of West Bengal. After spending eight years and thirty days in Indian jails in Kolkata, Bleach was granted freedom, by the then NDA government under home minister L K Advani. This happened despite the fact that this would highly compromise India's effort to seek the extradition of Kim Davy from Denmark.


Thus, both the Congress and the BJP led NDA have in one way or the other allowed this mystery to remain unexplained. This, in itself, gives credence to Kim Davy’s allegations today.


Leaving aside the grave threat to India's security that this arms drop poses, ignoring the serious lapses that have occurred by both the acts of omission and commission by the then Congress central government, the Congress party today in its typically petty manner is crying hoarse that these revelations have come at this time to damage the prospects of its alliance with Trinamool Congress in the on-going elections in West Bengal. Davy's allegations today, according to the electronic media channel that carried this expose, have come in the background of the efforts made by the Indian government to seek his extradition that now appears close to fruition. The Interpol, according to the media reports of April 27, 2010, had informed the CBI that the Denmark authorities have decided to extradite Purulia arms drop case mastermind Kim Davy.


It is absolutely essential in the interests of India's security to ensure that this extradition happens and Davy is produced before the Indian courts and is duly punished. It is equally important that the various lapses that have occurred must be investigated and all questions concerning the complicity of the then Congress central government and the circumstances leading to the presidential pardon to Peter Bleach by the then BJP led NDA government, must be unambiguously answered in the interests of Indian democracy. This must be done by immediately constituting a judicial enquiry into all these circumstances. No attempt to undermine our constitutional scheme of things can be allowed or permitted.


(May 4, 2011)