The entire story baffled everyone. The Anand Margis said that the arms were not for them,then who were these for?? Another aspect that struck one was why wasn’t anyone punished at that time for allowing Kim Davy to escape. A whole lot of questions are to be answered today, after 18 years !!! The Media also, though usually smart and alert, did not do any investigation on the issue and the Police did not even co-operate saying that the case was under investigation. The Anand Margis certainly addressed Press conferences to explain their point of view. As is Customary the Government set up a Parliamentary Committee to inquire into the lapse and also came up with a report that can only be described as being terrifying. They established a Criminal nexus on the part of each of the three Ministries – Defence, Home and Civil aviation. It was stated in the Findings that though the Intelligence Bureau did have prior information and they informed the Home Ministry, which however did not in turn inform the DGCA which is supposed to process all applications for planes to over fly Indian air space. How callous can the Government become?
When the Air Force got the plane to land at Mumbai airport it did not inform anyone. The Control tower did not intimate the Police and to cap it all the Chief Culprit Kim Davy who was actually caught – escaped from custody and disappeared.
Passing the Buck
Eminent lawyer Soli Sorabjee at that time commented on the Purulia fiasco in the Times of India, “The Defence Secretary’s explanation that the Plane landed in civil territory and that was not the Military’s headache, is a classic example of passing the buck. The Home Secretary has confessed total lack of co-ordination between Ministries, and Civil Aviation Secretary’s statement that “it was sheer luck that the aircraft in question was identified was breathtaking.” Are we still in Matters of Security surviving on luck even today ? It must be realized that the Security and the Defence of the Country are dependent on Intelligence and Counter Intelligence Services.
I however on the other hand surely felt, at that time that there was more to the Purulia case than meets the eye. In any operation, and certainly a clandestine one, it would be naive to think that the Person carrying out the operation would know or have the knowledge of what the objective of the arms drop was? These facts are never known to more than two persons at the most including the Prime Minister who was then Narsima Rao. But it was very interesting that the prime suspect,Kim Davy,who could have thrown some light on the issue, was deliberately allowed to get away. Was there any introspection,concern or inquiry carried out at that time?
Kim Davy’s Claim today
It is clear that the arms drop case is a legal case regarding an incidence occurring on 17th Dec,1995 in which unauthorized arms were dropped from an Antonov- An- 26 aircraft in Purulia district in the State of West Bengal. Kim Davy today claims that it was a conspiracy of the Indian Government together with RAW and MI 5 to over throw the Communist Government at that time in West Bengal and that he had been given assurances from the then Central Government with the knowledge of the PM regarding his safety and return to Denmark after his task was completed and he would be transported to a safe place.
Speculation Purpose and Modality
While the true motive of the Operation even today remains shrouded in mystery and conjecture it is seen that an investigation by BBC has alleged that the arms were intended for a Socio- Spiritual organization the Anand Marg. The same however is disputed by Kim Davy who still claims that the Indian Government had directed that the Arms drop was to counter the CPI (M) cadres in West Bengal.
An Indian Court however determined in 1997 that the Anand Marg group was indeed the intended recipient of the drop.However despite the passage of years many details of the incident are wrapped in mystery and there is considerable speculation as to the purpose and modality of the Operation. It has also been stated that the Contract for the Arms drop was concluded with the Bulgarian Suppliers and it was said that the Arms will be used by the Bangladesh Army and will not be exported to any other Country !! However the boxes containing the weapons found in Purulia were marked for Rajendrapur Cantonment in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Government have denied any such allegations and maintain that the certificates were forged by unknown vendors.
Five Latvian crew members along with arms dealer Peter Bleach were arrested in connection with the case, but the key conspirator Kim Davy disappeared from the airport. Kim Davy, who was wanted in the case by the CBI, has reiterated and confirms that the dropping of the arms and ammunition was to fight the then Communist Government in West Bengal. Kim Davy is also a Danish author of a Book were he states that he is called by some as a Terrorist,but he claims that he is not and he has been involved for over a 14 year journey that involves him in building Schools in Guatemala and helping Agricultural Projects in India as also attending Conferences in Russia. In fact he states that in 1995 he was totally involved in humanitarian work for the People in West Bengal, which at that time was Governed by the Communist Party of India.The Government however claims that he was involved in smuggling of weapons and he admits claiming that he made the weapon drop during his dealing with West Bengal.
In April 2010 the Danish Police arrested him in order to start an extradition trial as required by India. The extradition agreement between Denmark and India has been changed to say that he will have to be returned home back to Denmark no later than 3 weeks after a sentence has been given at the expected trial abroad. In Nov 2010 the Hillerod Court in Denmark overturned the Justice Ministry decision to extradite Kim Davy (real name Niels Holck alias Niels Christian Nielsen) on the expected inability to protect him against “ rough treatment” in India during his custody. The Indian Government are still trying to extradite him despite the clear ruling of the Danish Court and on 21 Aug 2013 Indian Government has stated that it will continue to insist his extradition, as he is the main accused in the Purulia Arms Drop Case.
Denmark has once again asked India for a fresh proposal on the issue of extradition of Kim Davy assuring them that it would be examined by its Justice Department . It is however known that Kim Davy has during numerous interviews evaded answering all questions .
Following the intervention of Russian authorities , the Latvian crew ( who gained Russian citizenship while in Indian custody) were later pardoned and released . In Oct 2008 the extradition of Kim Davy was close to be finalized and the conditions Denmark had set included the waiving of the death penalty, if Davy was convicted for his involvement . In April 2011 Davy came forward and alleged that both the Indian Government as well as its Intelligence Agency RAW were aware of the precise details of the arms drop well in advance and that the whole Operation was conducted with the implicit agreement of the Indian authorities and therefore he should not be extradited. Bleach and Davy have again claimed that the Aim of the Arms Drop was to help Anti- left Government dissidents to create a pretext to impose President’s rule in West Bengal.
CBI however denies all allegations of involvement or collusion. Some Political analysts have also questioned the Timings of the revelation which may have helped the Left Parties in the ongoing State Government Assembly Elections in 2011. Today the Danish High Court after hearing evidence from Bleach who described his personal experiences in jail in Kolkatta have dismissed the plea to handover Davy on the grounds of torture or other inhuman treatment meted out to Bleach while in the Kolkata Jail.
Who ever planned and carried out the operation has shown that it was executed badly with many Chinks in the armour which require immediate rectification.IS INDIA SECURE? Isn’t it possible for an enemy intruding aircraft carrying Atomic Bombs to Today break through our Air Space and Drop bombs on any Indian City? It is time our Politicians sit up and take security issues seriously. Administering a Country like Ours needs dedicated People and not Politicians who fight like School Boys amongst themselves and with a Bag of Dirty Tricks in store to do anything just to stick to their chairs .
Indian Politicians continue to issue irresponsible statements that appears brave on the face of it , but are in fact so hollow that its sound reverberates, reminding us all of the STONE AGE.