Purulia Arms Drop , Intelligence Agencies and the Mumbai Attack
The recent revelations on the Times Now news channel where the two main protagonists Kim Davy or Neils Christian Neilsen and Peter Bleach of the infamous December 17, 1995 Purulia arms dropping case appeared and answered some questions has the country agog with a sense of disbelief. There are too many unanswered questions and some very uncomfortable and rather dangerous conclusions. I will not go into the details of the case as I presume that the readers must be knowing as to what happened. It is the questions that are still hanging in the air that concern me1.
Let us presume that the Indian government had colluded with MI5 and planned these operations to destablize the West Bengal government. Then why did the plane land in Karachi first and then enter the Indian airspace? Why were the services of the Shaheen Airlines taken for the AN29? Shaheen is a known ISI front. Who financed the whole operation? There are names of two Hong Kong based businessmen doing the rounds. If it was an Indian government sponsored operation in which RAW and MI5 were involved then why did they need to have foreign financiers? If we go by the reports in The Independent it seems that Kim Davy financed the whole operation with money raised from smuggling gold etc. If so why have letter rogatories sent to Hong Kong for the two men alleged to have been behind this?
Once the arms had been para-dropped and made news headlines and the plane had reached Bangkok why did they chose to come back into the Indian airspace? It was clear that after the furor in the media things would be difficult for the men who had undertaken this operation. And if it was indeed an Indian government sponsored operation why did they force land the plane in Mumbai? They could have still whisked it away. How did Kim Davy escape once the plane had landed in Mumbai? If it was indeed Pappu Yadav and J.K. Dutt who facilitated Davy’s escape is it not true that there must have been forces higher up in the bureaucracy who had given this a go ahead. Who are these men?
Where is the 30 page confession that Peter Bleach gave Indian authorities most notably J.K. Dutt and why was it not that made public? It was in the media that Peter Bleach and the Latvians were given presidential pardon because of pressure from British and Russian governments. But it now appears that Mr. Bleach was given a pardon in a hurry so that he does not depose before the High Court judge of Kolkota. What was it that Peter Bleach was to reveal that was so damaging that Indian authorities found it convenient to let him go rather than allow him to speak. It must also be noted that whenever Bleach tried to speak to the media while on the way to the court he was whisked away. Readers may be wondering as to why I have not mentioned or asked anything about the shutting off of the radars which allowed the AN29 to fly into India from Karachi. Well, if it was a MI5-RAW operation then these things can be arranged2. But I am sure this must have been after approval from highest authorities of the land. And to say that Pappu Yadav has clout enough to ensure safe passage to Davy is rather farfetched.
If indeed it was a MI5 okayed operation then why did they tip off the Indian authorities about the impending arms drop? They should have been working in tandem with RAW and IB.
From the interview of Kim Davy it was clear that he has strong views about the atrocities committed by the CPI(M) goondas, as he calls it. The man has a history of criminal activity. But he also seems to be a man with a mission. How did this small time criminal turned activist get access to MI5 and RAW? Who got him into the loop of such a massive operation purportedly to destabilize the West Bengal government? Is it normal for intelligence agencies to use the services of dubious characters to further their political ends? The CPI(M) has alleged that arms have also been dropped in Tripura in the past where they are in power3. It is also intriguing that for 16 years the Indian intelligence agencies had been telling the courts that they did not know where Kim Davy was while he was giving interviews in Denmark. Also why have they woken up now after all these years and asking for his extradition? What has changed in this time?
The most unnerving question is however about the ISI’s role in this operation. It seems that J.K. Dutt was entrusted with ‘cleaning up’ after the whole operation had come a cropper. Shaheen Airlines had a contract with a company floated by Kim Davy. The plane landed in Karachi and the crew waited for a few days before they were told that a 2 day window was open for them to make the drop. Was the ISI in the know that Indian radars would be shut off to facilitate this operation? Could not the Pakistan government have taken advantage of the fact and launched a military operation? J.K. Dutt is the same man who was the head of the National Security Guards when the 26/11 Mumbai attacks took place. It must also be remembered that generally the head of the NSG is a military officer. J.K. Dutt is a civilian with intelligence background. Why was he made the NSG chief? It must also be remembered that NSG was finding it difficult to get a plane to Mumbai, or so we are told and arrived only 48 hours after the Mumbai attacks began. Barkha Dutt while interviewing J.K. Dutt had asked whether the handlers had talked to him about swapping the one terrorist we had captured, Ajmal Amir Kasab, for some hostages and he had said that he had not talked to the handlers. He was not very convincing when he said that he had no contact with the handlers of the 26/11 terrorist handlers. Were the Mumbai attacks also had an Indian angle to it. The terrorists both in the Trident and the Taj were never short of ammunition. They could not have carried so much ammunition in their ruck sack. Were there terrorist accomplices already staying in these hotels as guests and had stocked arms and ammunition for the party from Karachi to arrive? Peter Bleach did caustically remark how well J.K. Dutt had handled the operations at the Trident. It is not uncommon for intelligence agencies of the worst of enemies to be in touch and to exchange notes. If the impending Purulia arms drop was known to the ISI could it be possible that the 26/11 attacks were also known to some in the Indian intelligence and police. The Mumbai police chief Gafoor was sidelined after the 26/11 attacks. I will not be surprised if there were people in the know here in India about the Mumbai attacks well in advance. J.K. Dutt and his colleagues need to answer a lot of questions.
Lastly, it is intriguing that Peter Bleach was given presidential pardon during the Vajpayee government. The BJP representative refused to be a part of the debate on the Purulia arms drop on Time Now. Why was the BJP government so keen to keep things under wraps? It was the Congress led government that had planned and executed the Purulia arms drop, then why did BJP led NDA government play along and let Bleach go. There are way too many questions. It is a matter of concern that intelligence agencies play games of intrigue and deceit with each other and with the people they swear to protect. The political class and the intelligence agencies need to clean up the mess. Games can be played, but not at the cost of national security and the lives of ordinary citizens.
A word about Kim Davy before I pen down. The man mentioned the organization PUCL (People’s Union for Civil Liberties) a couple of times. The man seems to have very strong views regarding the atrocities against the poor by the CPI(M). PUCL is the same organization to which Binayak Sen and Kobad Gadhi belong to. It is a front for the Maoists in India. Such huge arms cache that included AK-47 rifles, rocket launchers, grenades, night vision glasses etc. can only be used by the Maoists in India. Could Kim Davy be working for the Maoists? The Center has been propping up the Maoists to counter the CPI(M). If at all the CPI(M) government is overthrown this time it will be because of the Maoists alias PUCL. They also have had support from the ISI. Does the clock tick now? Does New Delhi want Davy back because they want to put a leash on the Maoists now that the elections in Bengal are over and Trinamool and Congress reckon they will be in power. These men were pawns in the hands of the power that be. And power is what politicians are after.
- Purulia Expose: India’s best kept secret – Times of India, April 28, 2011 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Purulia-Expose-Indias-best-kept-secret/articleshow/8106795.cms
- Up in arms: The bizarre case of the British gun-runner, the Indian rebels and the missing Dane by By Peter Popham – The Independent Sunday, 6 March 2011 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/up-in-arms-the-bizarre-case-of-the-british-gunrunner-the-indian-rebels-and-the-missing-dane-2230475.html
- Purulia arms-drop accused says operation was organised to bring down Left Front – The Hindu April 29, 2011 http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1819566.ece