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'Purulia arms case accused won't survive in India'

May 19, 2011 13:00 IST

A British spy turned arms dealer has told a Copenhagen court that Danish national Kim Davy alias Neils Holck, the prime accused in the 1995 Purulia arms drop case, would not survive if he is extradited and forced to stand trial in India.

Giving evidence in the extradition hearing of Davy, Peter Bleach, who was arrested over the incident, told the court how he was beaten and humiliated while serving a life sentence in India. 

Bleach was released in February 2004, via a presidential pardon, allegedly due to persistent British pressure.

The Central Bureau of Investigation has claimed that Davy was the person behind the arms drop near Anand Marg ashram in West Bengal's Purulia District.

It also accused Davy of conspiring to procure a huge quantity of arms and ammunition and to traffic it illegally into Indian territory for the purpose of waging war against India.

The CBI had revealed that an aircraft AN-26 had flown over West Bengal's Jhalda police station on the night of December 17, 1995, while it was coming from Varanasi to Kolkata, and dropped a huge quantity of arms and ammunition.

The immigration authorities at the Sahara International Airport in Mumbai, where it was forcefully landed on December 22, 1995, detained the crewmembers of the aircraft -- Bleach and five other Latavian citizens -- Alexender Klichin, Igor Moskvitine, Oleg Gaidach, Evgueni Antimenko and Igor Timmerman.

Davy, who was said to be in the aircraft, managed to escape from the airport.

The investigators recovered several articles such as arms, ammunition, laptop and brief case of Davy, G P S flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder from the aircraft.

On conclusion of trial, all the six accused persons were sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 each under Section 121A of the Indian Penal Code.

The Danish government has agreed to Davy's extradition, but the Copenhagen court upheld his appeal. 

Now a five-man bench of the high court is hearing the government's appeal against that decision.

In an interview with The Independent last year, Bleach had said, "A lot of people close to the summit of Indian government and intelligence would have to have signed off on the arms drop plan for it to go ahead. If Holck is extradited to India, he won't last a week. They would probably kill him in jail."

Source: ANI