The night when a foreign aircraft dropped hundreds of AK-47 and millions of bullets in West Bengal!

It was the night of 17 December 1995 when unauthorized arms were dropped by a foreign aircraft in West Bengal. More than a hundred AK-47, a number of other guns and more than a million round of bullets were dropped from an Antonov An-26 aircraft in Purulia district in the state of West Bengal in India. The aircraft which dropped the huge cache of arms was a Latvian Antonov An-26 aircraft, which dropped arms over a large area in Jhalda, Ghatanga, Belamu, Maramu villages of Purulia district on the night of 17 December 1995. Several days later, the plane re-entered Indian airspace. This time, it was intercepted by the Indian Air Force MiG-21 and was forced to land.

The crew of the aircraft consisted of five Latvian citizens and Peter Bleach, a British citizen and an ex Special Air Service operative, who was involved in arms dealing. When the aircraft was intercepted and forced to land second time, all the people present in the aircraft were arrested. The chief accused Niels Holck alias Kim Davy, a Danish citizen, escaped.

The chief accused Kim Davy, who escaped to Denmark, has claimed that it was a conspiracy of the Congress Indian government together with RAW (intelligence unit of India) and MI5 (British intelligence unit) to overthrow the communist government in West Bengal. As per Davy, people who were against the communist government in West Bengal were to be given guns and ammunition to overthrow the red regime. Davy says he was given assurances from the central government about his safety and return to Denmark after successful completion of arms drop. He claims that it was MP Pappu Yadav, in association with then Prime Minister of India P. V. Narasimha Rao, who facilitated his safe exit from India to Denmark.

However, investigations carried out independently by journalists revealed that a religious organisation named Ananda Marga was the intended recipient of the arms. The motive for the organisation acquiring such a huge cache of arms illegally is not known till date. Soon after, in 1997, court also passed a judgement that it was indeed the Ananda Marga which was about to receive the arms. The judgement was passed on the basis of maps, photographs of Ananda Marga headquarter and other evidences that were retrieved from the cockpit. However, the purpose for a religious organisation acquiring such a huge amount of arms is still shrouded in mystery as the main kingpin is still in Denmark.

Yesterday, during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally asked Danish minister Mr. Lars Christian Lilleholt to look into the matter of Kim Davy’s extradition to India and expedite it so that the mystery regarding the Purulia Arms Drop Case can be finally solved. His extradition from Denmark was botched up and then ignored during Congress led UPA rule, the reasons for which can well be speculated.

Kshitij Mohan**


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