May 2, 2011

Purulia: was West Bengal's LF regime the target?

By Marcus Dam

THE HINDU, April 29, 2011

The revelations to an Indian television channel on Thursday by Kim Davy, a prime accused in the arms drop case over the Jhalda area in West Bengal's Purulia district on December 17-18, 1995, and by Peter Bleach who served a sentence for his role in the incident, only go to indicate that various international forces have been colluding with those within the country in targeting and destabilising the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front government in West Bengal.
They come not just as an eye-opener at a time when the Left Front is facing its most fierce electoral battle in recent times against an alliance of the Trinamool Congress and the Congress in the ongoing Assembly polls in the State; they also serve as a reminder to the electorate waiting to exercise its franchise in the coming three phases of polling — on May 3, 7 and 10.

What Mr. Davy has had to say in his interview to Times Now TV channel is, according to the Polit Bureau of the CPI(M), “further confirmation of the fact that there was a well-planned conspiracy to use violence to destabilise the Left Front at that time… Such moves are still on.”

Significantly, the arms drop occurred a year before Lok Sabha and Assembly elections were held in the State.

As the CPI(M) Polit Bureau observes “…it was a serious assault on India's sovereignty and a diabolical plot against an elected government [in West Bengal] and the Constitution.”

On being asked whether the Central government knew and had authorised the arms drop over Indian territory, Mr. Davy replied: “There were political forces at the Centre who saw it as an opportune way to further their political agenda.”

He continues: “You must remember that we are talking ancient history here, but in 1988 the Centre introduced Presidential Rule in Tripura [the Left Front was in power there in 1987-88] after engaging in supplying arms to different rebel groups there. The same strategy was announced publicly in the beginning of the 1990s that there was a decision to introduce Presidential Rule in West Bengal and therefore it was seen as a furthering of this agenda that arms were procured to protect local people.”

Startling exposé

The disclosures to Times Now by Mr. Bleach are more startling.

Asked what could be the motive behind dropping the arms in “Indian territory in such an illegal manner,” Mr. Bleach says: “To understand that you have to stop thinking of Indian territory. This wasn't dropped so much in Indian territory as in Bengali territory. The target here was the government of West Bengal. At that time, Jyoti Basu was the Chief Minister and the CPI(M) government was in power.”

“The whole objective [according] to my understanding was to destabilise the government of West Bengal so that President's rule could be declared in terms of the Constitution and the State would have been ruled directly from Delhi. That could have disposed the CPI(M) government and that was the entire purpose of the job as I understand it now. I didn't understand it at that time and I have to stress that,” Mr Bleach goes on to add.

As Biman Bose, CPI(M) State Secretary in West Bengal, says: “There have been moves to destabilise the Left Front government… There have been repeated demands for President's rule in the State; like the repeated efforts of the principal Opposition party in the State [Trinamool Congress] to get the Centre to impose President's rule in the State by engaging with the CPI (Maoist) in Jangal Mahal [in the south-western region of the State].”

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