Purulia arms drop was an international conspiracy;Govt

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New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) The 1995 Purulia arms dropping in West Bengal villages was outcome of an ''international conspiracy'' to clandestinely procure arms and air-drop them for some activists of Anand Marg, a socio-spiritual organisation, Home Minister Shivraj Patil informed the Lok Sabha today.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has issued lookout notices against 14 accused, 13 of whom are still absconding, he said in reply to a written question by Basudeb Acharia of the CPI(M).

Kim Peter Davy alias Niels Holck Nielsen alias Niels Christian Nielsen, the 14th accused was traced in Denmark in February, 2002 and a formal extradition request was sent to Denmark on October 18, 2002,he added.

A large unauthorised consignment of arms was dropped by a Latvian aircraft Antonov An-26 in Jhalda, Ghatanga, Belamu, Maramu villages of Purulia district on the night of December 17, 1995.

Several days later, when the plane re-entered Indian airspace, it was intercepted by the Indian Air Force MiG-21 and forced to land in Mumbai.

Five ethnic Russian Latvian crew of the aircraft, sentenced to life imprisonment in the case, were pardoned by the Indian government and handed over to the Russian authorities in July, 2000.

They had acquired Russian citizenship while in Indian custody. The 6th crew member, Peter Bleach, a British national, too, was released on February 4, 2004, via a presidential pardon.

UNI

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