This Article is From Jun 30, 2011

Purulia arms drop case: Will Kim Davy be extradited?

New Delhi: The Danish High Court will pronounce its verdict today on the extradition of Kim Davy in connection with Purulia arms drop case.

He has been on the run since 1995.

He is accused of air-dropping hundreds of AK-47 rifles, pistols, anti-tank grenades, rocket launchers and over 25,000 rounds of ammunition, enough to start a mini-war.

The CBI claims the weapons were meant to arm members of a sect called the Ananda Marg, who wanted to revolt against West Bengal's Communist government. But the court ruled out this theory saying the Ananda Marg was not involved and the arms were meant for unknown persons, beneficiaries who are unidentified till date.

According to British national Peter Bleach, one of the convicted accused, Kim Davy led the operation with Bleach and a crew of five Latvians.

The cargo plane took off from Gatwick Airport in London with four tons of weapons undetected. After nearly crashing in Isfahan in Iran they landed in at Karachi in Pakistan.

At this airport too they did not raise any suspicion. The plane remained on the tarmac for days.

Their next stop was Varanasi, where they refuelled.

Then once over Purulia, they air-dropped the consignment and left for Phuket in Bangkok.

The British External Intelligence Agency tipped off by Peter Bleach, informed the government of India about the arms drop but New Delhi first sent the information to Bihar and then to West Bengal, on ordinary mail, and by the time it reached West Bengal Kim Davy and his crew were in Phuket.

Inexplicably, Kim Davy's return route was via India.

It's unclear if Davy was overconfident or playing to a plan. His plane was forced to land in Mumbai.

Peter Bleach and the crew members were arrested but Davy escaped.

Peter Bleach and 5 Latvian crew members were sentenced to life imprisonment.
But by 2004 allegedly under pressure from the Russian and British Governments all the accused were released.

Meanwhile in 2001, Davy was traced to Denmark.
The Danish government had allowed the extradition of Davy after getting a number of assurances from India with two important ones being that no death penalty would be given to him and permission to serve imprisonment, if decided by court, in Denmark prisons.
The order was challenged by Davy in a Danish court which ruled in his favour.
The Danish government had appealed against the order before a five-judge bench of the High Court which had reserved its decision.

"He has not been contesting evidence or the investigation done by CBI. Rather he has, on several occasions, largely admitted his role in Purulia arms drop case in the Danish court as also in the media, including Indian media. His arguments in courts focussed mainly on alleged poor prison conditions and human rights issues in India," CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said here.
Since the Danish government is defending its decision, CBI is not a party in the case but a team was sent to "assist" the prosecution with facts and Indian laws.
"The verdict tomorrow may not be the final one in the case. There are chances of further appeal in the Supreme Court of Denmark for both the parties after this verdict. Generally, two weeks' time is given for such appeal in Danish legal system," she said.

(With PTI inputs)