Archive for the ‘Breaking News’ Category

Mamata’s Al-Qaida Link

October 5, 2014

IM men killed making IEDs in Trinamool leader’s house

BURDWAN, Oct 2, 2014: Two suspected Indian Mujahideen militants were killed and a third injured critically in West Bengal’s Burdwan town when an IED they were allegedly making exploded in the house of a Trinamool Congress leader which also doubles as the local party office.

The blast took place on Thursday afternoon.

Locals say that when police arrived, two women held them off at gunpoint threatening to blow up the house and delaying them long enough to burn several documents and evidence. Among the half burnt papers found later were leaflets of al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and Indian Mujahideen. Only a month ago, Zawahiri had warned of ‘jihad’ in India.

Police sources said 55 IEDs were seized along with RDX, several wrist watch dials, maps and SIM cards. Some half-burnt books were in Arabic, say police sources. Security agencies believe that since the militants were already assembling IEDs, they had planned to hit an Indian city in a few days.

NIA, IB and other central agencies are already in Burdwan but say they are getting no cooperation from the state police. Local cops are accused of trying to hush up the blast. They destroyed the seized IEDs, bombs and explosives on Friday before central investigators could arrive. SP SMH Meerza claimed those dead did not have any criminal antecedents and that the bombs were crude socket-bombs. But CID inspector Amar Kumar Mondal, who led the bomb squad, said he defused 55 IEDs and RDX.

While Shakeel Ahmed from Nadia was killed on the spot, East Midnapore’s Shobhan Mondal died in hospital. Hasan Saheb of Murshidabad is in critical condition. Shakeel’s widow Rumi Biwi and Hasan’s wife Amina Biwi have been detained along with landlord and Trinamool leader Nurul Hasan Choudhury. The Opposition BJP and CPM demand a probe into the “Trinamool-terror nexus”.

The blast took place around noon on Thursday. Fire brigade and police believed they were responding to a domestic fire and were shocked to see two women brandishing revolvers and threatening to blow up the house if they dared enter.

In an instant, a ‘cylinder blast’ had transformed into a national security issue. Locals say they saw the two women burn several documents before they let police enter after an hour. Police took away the IEDs in sand-laden trucks. It took seven hours for a CID team from Kolkata to destroy them in controlled detonation the next morning.

When central agencies arrived on Friday afternoon, they were stunned to learn that the IEDs and RDX had been destroyed.

A four-member IB team was the first to arrive from New Delhi. An IB inspector alleged that Burdwan sadar police were not cooperating with them. “Neither the Burdwan SP nor the thana is helping us. They have destroyed all the bombs and explosives instead of retaining them for examination. The case will now become useless because of lack of evidence. The seized explosives would have been crucial in the case,” he said.

An NIA team arrived on Saturday, followed by a Central Forensic Science Laboratory team from Hyderabad. CFSL’s P D Ganesh said that the sand samples collected from the detonation site on the riverbank point to Indian Mujahideen. He said that police should have kept the explosives, and waited for them instead of destroying them. NIA and CFSL experts entered the house for the first time around 12pm on Saturday, two days after the blast.

The ruling Trinamool Congress is in a tight spot because the house served as its local party office. Trinamool leader Nurul Hasan has told police that he had given the first floor on rent to Shakeel Ahmed for Rs 18,000 three months ago and claims he does not know the others.

BJP district secretary Sandeep Nandy has demanded a CBI probe. “NIA and CBI should interrogate the three detainees and the injured person. The house is the local party office of Trinamool and you can see its flags even today. Burdwan SP SMH Meerza is trying to hush up the incident, claiming police have seized 15 crude bombs. He is trying to save the Trinamool leader. The Trinamool-terrorism link should be probed. This is a very serious matter,” Nandy said.

CPM leader Amal Haldar said burnt papers posters of Indian Mujahideen have been found. “The Trinamool-terror link has now been proved. We demand an NIA probe,” said Haldar.

Shakeel was in Mumbai for a long time before coming to Burdwan, sources say. IGP-CID R Shiva Kumar and IGP-western zone Siddhinath Gupta are interrogating the three detainees. “We have told the women to call their guardians. All 55 crude socket bombs have been destroyed by CID yesterday. The victims have no criminal background. The condition of the third victim is serious,” Meerza said.

Courtesy: TOI

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Govt. Violates Privacy Safeguards to Secretly Monitor Internet Traffic

September 9, 2013

Net-spy-new_1577956g

Keyword-based monitoring can snoop in on emails, web-browsing, chat

    Amid fresh controversy following reports of the U.S.’s Prism programme targeting the Brazilian President, and the impending launch of the Indian government’s own Central Monitoring System (CMS) project, an investigation by The Hindu reveals that the Internet activities of India’s roughly 160 million users are already being subjected to wide-ranging surveillance and monitoring, much of which is in violation of the government’s own rules and notifications for ensuring “privacy of communications”.

    While the CMS is in early stages of launch, investigation shows that there already exists — without much public knowledge — Lawful Intercept and Monitoring (LIM) systems, which have been deployed by the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) for monitoring Internet traffic, emails, web-browsing, Skype and any other Internet activity of Indian users.

Secret monitoring

    While mobile operators deploy their own LIM system, allowing “interception” of calls by the government, only after checking “due authorisation” in compliance with Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act read with Rule 419(A) of the IT Rules, in the case of the Internet traffic, the LIM is deployed by the government at the international gateways of a handful of large ISPs. The functioning of these secretive surveillance systems is out of reach of these ISPs, under lock and key and complete control of the government.

    Following the leak of the Amar Singh tapes, the government had notified safeguards on February 7, 2006 for monitoring Internet traffic titled “Instructions for ensuring privacy of communications”, which mandates all ISPs to have “designated nodal officers” for communicating and receiving the “intimations for interceptions”. Nodal officers are required to hold meetings with the government to “seek confirmation regarding their (interception orders) authenticity every 15 days”. The safeguards include the need for 24×7 availability of “nodal officers”, and a procedure for monitoring traffic during “exceptions in emergent cases”.

    However, in reality, these safeguards stand violated for the most part. This is because a majority of the Indian ISPs neither have the government’s LIM system installed nor do they have functional nodal officers — and, as a result, the ISP-level mandatory check for authenticating government’s monitoring orders to protect user privacy is absent. In effect, all Internet traffic of any user is open to interception at the international gateway of the bigger ISP from whom the smaller ISPs buy bandwidth.

    Even where the LIM exists, the process of seeking authentication by nodal officers exists mostly on paper. Since the government controls the LIMs, it directly sends software commands and sucks out whatever information it needs from the Internet pipe without any intimation or information to anyone, except to those within the government who send the Internet traffic monitoring commands. No ISP confirmed as to whether they had ever received an “authorization” letter for interception or monitoring of Internet content.

    Further, unlike mobile call interception safeguards, where only a pre-specified, duly authorized mobile number is put under “targeted surveillance”, to prohibit misuse, in the case of Internet traffic, the government’s monitoring system, which is installed between the ISPs Internet Edge Router (PE) and the core network, has an “always live” link to the entire traffic. The LIM system, in effect, has access to 100% of all Internet activity, with broad surveillance capability, based not just on IP or email addresses, URLs, fttps, https, telenet, or webmail, but even through a broad and blind search across all traffic in the Internet pipe using “key words” and “key phrases”.

    In practical terms, this would mean that security agencies often launch a search for suspicious words such as “mithai” (sweets) — a code often used by extremist organizations to describe an explosive. However since the monitoring is broad, blind and based on “key word” or “key phrase”, the LIM system, using “text search”, “check some search”, “serial scanning”, “wildcard search” software commands, etc., monitors the entire Internet pipe indiscriminately for all traffic of every and any Internet user for as long as it desires, without any oversight of courts and without the knowledge of ISPs.

    This monitoring facility is available to nine security agencies including the IB, the RAW and the MHA. It is unclear whether future safeguards promised for CMS exist while monitoring Internet traffic today.

    Though it is presumed that the provisions of Rule 419(A) are followed, no one within the government or the ISPs was willing to reveal as to who sends the “intimation for interception”, or who checks its authentication and who implements it, especially since the search is made on the basis of “keyword” across all traffic rather than a specified targeted surveillance.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Reliance cuts 3G data rates by 50%

July 19, 2013

Reliance Communications cuts 3G data rates by 50%

gurdeep singh reliance

NEW DELHI, July 18, 2013:  Country’s third largest telecom operator Reliance Communications slashed 3G charges by more than 50 per cent to bring them at par with 2G mobile internet prices in 13 circles, including Delhi and Mumbai.

RCom slashed 3G prices for all kind of connections – pre-paid, post-paid, new and old — across 13 circles where its third-generation services are available.

“Only one-fourth of people who own 3G phones truly use for 3G services. There is huge barrier to affordability. We are cutting the 3G prices down to the 2G data rates,” RCom President and CEO for Wireless, Gurdeep Singh, said here.

“Fundamentally, it is Rs 123 to a GB of 3G which is equivalent to 2G price,” he added. At present, 2G internet for 1 GB usage costs Rs 125 on the company’s network.

RCom also reduced prices for 2GB and 4GB pack on 3G network to Rs 246 and Rs 492 respectively, which is around 35 to 45 per cent lower than its competitors’.

After exhausting the usage limit, RCom customers will be charge 3 paise for every 10 kb of data.

“In 1GB people can watch 3 full length Hindi feature film if file size is around 300 MB, can listen to 250 songs with each song being around 4 MB,” Singh said.

Last month Airtel, Idea, Vodafone and Tata Teleservices slashed their 3G and 2G data rates by up to 90 per cent in select circles. However these reductions were for usage after exhausting limit provided in internet package.

Singh said that company is looking to attract 40 per cent smartphone users in the country.

“Future belong to those who have largest share of smartphones on their network or within smartphone those who have largest screen size. We are looking to 40 per cent smartphone users to come on our network by 2015. At present we have over 14 per cent smartphone user of 66 million in the country,” Singh said.

RCom also announced a mobile number portability offer to attract customers on its network. “We will be giving consumers … 2GB data free for first two months and then they will be brought in Rs 123 data plan which is same as 2G plan.”

RCom has 3G services 13 circles that include Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Assam and North East.

‘Oil Firms Not in the Red’, says Yechury

September 14, 2012

Sitaram Yechury on Diesel Price Hike

Sitharam Yechury, MP, along with M.A. Baby, former Kerala Minister (left), during the Democratic Youth Federation of India's ninth all-India conference, public meeting, at Freedom Park, in Bangalore onTuesday. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Sitharam Yechury, MP, along with M.A. Baby, former Kerala Minister (left), during the Democratic Youth Federation of India’s ninth all-India conference, public meeting, at Freedom Park, in Bangalore onTuesday.

Bangalore, Sep 11, 2012: The government will perpetrate a great “fraud” on the people by allowing oil companies to go ahead with a hike in fuel prices, Communist Party of India (Marxist) MP Sitaram Yechury said on Tuesday.

Pointing out that all the oil companies, as per their recent declarations, had posted profits, he said, “Together, they have a cash reserve of Rs. 1 lakh crore. They are hardly in the red as they claim.”

Speaking at the inauguration of the ninth all India conference of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) here, Mr. Yechury challenged the government claim that a hike in fuel prices was the only way to control the rising fiscal deficit of 6.9 per cent (Rs. 5.21 lakh crore).

“The government has given large corporations tax exemptions of Rs. 5.28 lakh crore. The exchequer has lost Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in the 2G scam. Another Rs. 1.86 lakh crore has been lost in the coal allocation scam. All this money could have arrested fiscal deficit.”

The money lost through scams and subsidies to the rich would lead to acute gaps in delivery of healthcare, education and food security.

“If every child in the country was sent to school with uniforms, books and a midday meal, it would cost Rs. 1.76 lakh crore. If every Indian household is given 35 kilos of foodgrains a month (at the subsidised rate of Rs. 2 per kg), it would cost Rs. 1.2 lakh crore.”

Launching a no holds-barred attack on Manmohan Singh, Mr. Yechury said Coalgate had seriously undermined the legitimacy of the office of Prime Minister.

“The rate at which ministers are being caught in the scams, Mr. Singh might have to convene the next Cabinet meeting in the Tihar jail,” he said.

Courtesy: The Hindu

CPI(M) Slams Diesel Price Hike

September 14, 2012

CPI(M) slams diesel price hike,

Cap on LPG supply

A file photo of CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat.

Kolkata, Sep 14, 2012: Slamming the Centre for hiking the price of diesel and restricting supply of cooking gas, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat on Friday said his party will hold discussions with other parties on organising a stir to press for roll back.

“Both the decisions of hiking the diesel price and restricting the supply of subsidised cooking to six cylinders per household in a year are going to hit the common people badly,” he told reporters at the airport here.

“CPI(M) has already strongly criticised the decision of the Centre. We are going to discuss with other parties as to how to organise a common movement to demand the rollback of the decision,” he said.

Mr Karat was here in connection with a CPI(M) State Committee meeting.

The government on Thursday hiked diesel prices by a steep Rs. 5.62 per litre and restricted the supply of subsidised cooking gas to 6 cylinders per household in a year to fetch an additional Rs. 20,300 crore.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Google Fiber: 10 things to know about the 1000Mbps Internet service

August 21, 2012

Google Fiber made a big splash upon launch, with its promise of Gigabit speeds at the cost of regular broadband. Google announced that it will be launching its fiber-based Internet service in Kansas City, USA. The service will let users download unlimited Internet data at the speed of 1000 megabits per second for $70 per month.
 
The Internet search giant had received 3,900 registrations for Google Fiber as on Sunday, with users having another 41-days to pre-order. The installations will begin in September.
 
Here’s all you need to know about Google Fiber.
 
1) A free Nexus tablet
Every customer who signs up for Google Fiber with TV will get a free Google Nexus tablet to use as a remote. As of now, it is not clear whether it will be the 8GB model of Nexus 7 or the 16GB one that will be provided but nevertheless it is a great deal. There is also speculation that with the subscription of Google’s Internet one may be able to get a ChromeBook for a discounted price of $299. The TV + Internet plan costs $120 per month, against $70 per month for Internet only.

 2) No caps
Apart from the speed, what is exciting about Google Fiber is that it is offering unlimited data uploading and downloading. Yes, that’s right. There are no star marks or caps that the company plans to put on the amount of data you transfer.

 3) DVR Box
Google Fiber TV also comes along with a DVR box that lets users record as many as eight channels simultaneously. There is also an on-board memory of 2TB to help store all data that one may want to save.

 4) Installation cost and neighbourhood criteria
Google is charging $300 as an installation cost for this service and everyone who wants to pre-register will have to pay $10 to make a request. One would need at least 50 neighbours to make a request for Google to install this service in their area.

 5) No Broadband, no worries
For areas in Kansas, which still do not have broadband access (about 25 percent of the area), Google is offering 5Mbps download speeds and 1Mpbs upload speeds for the next seven years on payment of $300.

 6) 1 Gbps either way
Google Fiber offers 1Gbps download and upload speeds. In a world where upload speeds are capped at rather ridiculous levels, that must be music to the ears of end users. Torrent-ers rejoice!
 
7) Customer service
The Internet Service Provider (ISP) business is a new vertical for Google and given that it has little expertise in a consumer facing business, it will be interesting to see what it’s strategy will be for this vertical. It will be a challenge even for Google to establish a robust customer service mechanism.

8) Home users only
The plans shared so far are clearly targeted at the home user, so what about the business users? Will Google continue to ignore them or will it have special plans for businesses in the future, remains to be seen.
 
9) Only for Kansas
Though Google has promised that it will be looking at rolling out this service to other states soon, but for now it is available only for the people living in Kansas City, Missouri. Google may prefer to wait and see how things turn out, so it may be a long time before it can be avaiable in your city.

10) India? Forget about it!
In India, where most are struggling to get even a steady 1Mbps line, a service like Google Fiber will be really welcome. But given the state of infrastructure in our country and the amount of investment that setting something like Google Fiber will entail, we wouldn’t advise you to hold your breath.

Disinvestment Debacle

March 4, 2012

 

The ONGC share auction could have bombed but for LIC coming to the rescue

An ONGC off-shore oil rig in the Arabian Sea. File photo

An ONGC off-shore oil rig in the Arabian Sea

    A desperate seller unwilling to compromise on the product’s price; a product that is plagued by a major shortcoming; buyers who are aware of both the seller’s desperation and the expensive price of the product. What do you get when you combine all these? Answer: a debacle called ONGC disinvestment.

    The details are murky but one fact is clear: the auction process for ONGC could have bombed on the government and but for LIC coming to its rescue, the Centre may have been left red-faced with the mortification of seeing its Maharatna’s shares having no takers. The insurance major coughed up as much as Rs.12,000 crore of the Rs.12,767 crore raised from the auction, or 94 per cent.

    It can never be proved conclusively whether LIC was ordered to bridge the large shortfall in demand. Circumstantial evidence, however, offers some pointers. Until 3.20 p.m. on the day of the auction, only 1.43 crore shares were bid for on the BSE and NSE. It is difficult to believe that bids for the balance 40.6 crore shares were made in the remaining 10 minutes before the offer closed at 3.30 p.m.

    Second, the details of the bids were declared close to midnight on Thursday, eight hours after the auction closed. Why did it take so long for the bids to be tabulated? The auction was screen-based and the exchanges have efficient computer systems that have handled several big ticket initial public offerings (IPOs) in the past. So the explanation of glitches is not convincing and the exchanges have also clarified there were no technical problems.

    Third, it is also difficult to believe that institutional investors putting in large bids will wait until the last 10 minutes of the auction. One explanation being given is that they were waiting for the indicative price to be declared by the exchanges. This did not happen because there were just 1.43 crore shares bid and the exchanges could not arrive at the indicative price from them. The fact is that all bidders, not just institutional, could see the trends live on the websites of the exchanges and were aware that the indicative price might not be announced. The question of indicative price arises only if there is excessive demand which was not the case with the ONGC auction.

    The evidence, therefore, points in the direction of possible intervention by the government to save the auction. That institutions such as LIC and others have in the past been treated as handmaidens of the government only bolsters the case. It might well be that LIC will make handsome gains from the investment at some point in the future. Yet, that should not be confused with whether it is right for the government to lean on such institutions to bail it out of a tricky situation of its own making. The test question is: Would LIC have invested such a large sum in a single stock on its own volition?

WRONG ON THREE COUNTS

    The government has only itself to blame for the debacle. It went wrong on three major counts: price, timing and the quality of the asset. The base price of Rs.290 set for the auction was way too high. The ONGC stock has a 52-week average high/low price of Rs.276 while the average price in the last month was Rs.289. The mistake was to price the share using the latter benchmark.

    In a disinvestment or, for that matter, even in an IPO, it is always prudent to price the offer in such a way that there is something left on the table for investors. The government failed to do that with ONGC.

    A discount on price was also important because the stock came loaded with risk not the least of which is the propensity of the government to make the upstream oil companies such as ONGC bear a greater share of the subsidy burden when oil prices rise, as they are doing now. ONGC was sharing a third of the subsidy on petrol and diesel but recently the government hiked it to a little over 37 per cent. With oil prices moving up further, there is no guarantee that this ratio will not be increased.

    Finally, the timing was all wrong. For one, the market, despite the uptrend in indices in the last few weeks, is still nervous about the fundamental prospects for the economy. Growth is faltering and government finances are getting weaker with the fiscal deficit target for the entire year being overrun in just 10 months until January. This was no time to hit the market with a Rs.12,000 crore offer priced fully, if not excessively, and in a company subject to the overhang of subsidy-sharing.

    Also, investors were aware of the government’s desperation to bridge the fiscal deficit with proceeds from the auction, especially with barely a month left for the end of the financial year. What this means is that the seller, which is the government, began with a handicap and the only way of overcoming that was by pricing the product attractively. The government failed to do that.

    It is important that lessons are learnt. The idea of an auction is itself a good one but it is important to time it correctly, generate excitement before the event and then set the price at an attractive level. Failing to do these will lead to debacles such as the ONGC disinvestment.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Trinamool’s Vandalism in College Campus

January 6, 2012

 

Trinamool tramples campus promise

OUR CORRESPONDENT

Principal Dilip Dey Sarkar being dragged out of the college on Thursday.

Raiganj, Uttar Dinajpur; Jan. 5: A college principal was caught by his lapel and beaten repeatedly by prominent Trinamool leaders and activists here in the latest manifestation of the turf battle with ally Congress and a resurrection of the campus curse Mamata Banerjee had vowed to exorcise.

    The immediate flashpoint was the rejection of a demand made by Trinamool activists to scrap and reschedule students’ union elections in Raiganj College, saying their supporters were prevented from filing nomination papers by the Chhatra Parishad, the student wing of the Congress.

    But the underlying cause was the tussle for political space between the allies, now playing itself out in many parts of Bengal over issues as diverse as the renaming of Indira Bhawan and paddy prices.

    The assault at the government college coincided with a blunt Trinamool reminder to the Congress that the government in Delhi exists “because of us”, not the other way round.

    The location of today’s flare-up was significant because Raiganj is considered the backyard of Congress MP and Mamata-baiter Deepa Das Munshi. Having gained a foothold in north Bengal, long considered a Congress stronghold, in the last Assembly elections, Trinamool is trying to widen its presence there, which the Congress is resisting.

    The assault at the college, well known in North Dinajpur, also brought under stress the new government’s promise to free education from the grip of politics, a legacy of the Left, though today’s incident had little to do with the current Opposition.

    Education minister Bratya Basu renewed the pledge and ordered action irrespective of political affiliations. But till late this evening, the main accused — Trinamool’s acting district chief (Tilak Chowdhury) — had not been arrested.

    “The incident at the Raiganj college is deplorable. At a time the state government is trying to de-politicise education institutes, such incidents won’t be tolerated. We have told the administration to take action against the offenders, irrespective of their political affiliation. Thirty-four years of Left rule have developed a culture of political interference in education institutes,” Basu said.

    Yesterday afternoon, members of the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad had turned up at the Raigunj College to pick up nomination forms. But they were allegedly blocked by the Chhatra Parishad, which now runs the union.

    A fight broke out and each side lodged an FIR against the other at the local police station. By closing time, the Trinamool members could pick up only 16 forms for the 56 seats.

    A police picket was posted at the college but neither the force nor the officer-in-charge present there could foil the rampage that erupted this morning.

    Trinamool activists, led by the party’s district working president Tilak Chowdhury, held a protest march, following which a group kicked open the locked main gate and stormed the room of principal Dilip Dey Sarkar.

    Around 40 intruders burst into the first-floor room of Dey Sarkar, pushed aside the inspector in charge of Raiganj police station, Madhab Das, overturned the table on the principal and rained blows on him.

    Subrata Saha, a teacher who came to the principal’s rescue, was also beaten up, a teacher said. The vandals then caught Dey Sarkar by his lapel and dragged him down.

    The beating continued till some policemen posted near the gate rushed in and rescued Dey Sarkar. The principal filed an FIR stating that Chowdhury had led the attack.

    Dey Sarkar told the media persons: “The police should have stopped Chowdhury and the others from invading the college. When they were breaking down the college gate the police should have stopped them. I have resigned from my post in protest. I have also informed the vice-chancellor to keep the election process in suspension. The college will also be shut from tomorrow for a few days.”

    To save his face, Chowdhury alleged that the attack on the principal was the handiwork of the Chhatra Parishad.

    “We had marched to the college to register our protest with the principal for not being allowed to collect the nomination forms,” Chowdhury said. “But the principal refused to meet us. So, some of our supporters got agitated and tried to enter the principal’s office. Taking advantage of this, the Chhatra Parishad supporters mingled with us and beat up the principal to malign us.”

    Das Munshi said the incident was “shameful”. “Trinamool is getting involved in all kinds of vandalism and giving a bad name to the government. Let us see if any Trinamool supporters are arrested,” she said.

Courtesy: The Telegraph, Kolkata

Purulia Arms Drop: Sensational Revelations By The Prime Accused, Kim Davy

April 28, 2011

 

 

    New Delhi, 28 April 2011: In explosive revelations in the Purulia arms drop case, the prime accused Kim Davy, on Thursday, claimed that the entire operation to smuggle in huge quantities of arms and ammunition was carried out with the implicit approval of the top most echelons of power in India.

    Davy, who is known by many aliases, had played an active role in the infamous incident in which a large consignment of arms, including several hundred AK-47 rifles, and ammunition was dropped from a Latvian aircraft ‘Antonov AN-26’ on the night of December 17, 1995 in West Bengal’s Purulia district (Joupur Jhalda area).

    Before the aircraft could leave Indian airspace it was intercepted by the Indian Air Force and forced to land in Mumbai. However, Davy managed to escape from the airport under mysterious circumstances while the others in the aircraft – five Latvian citizens and Peter Bleach, an ex-Special Air Service operative and British intelligence officer – were arrested and tried in court.

    They were sentenced to life imprisonment; all were, however, released subsequently.

The Indian government had been looking for Davy and after it came to light that he was in Denmark, a formal extradition request was forwarded to the Danish authorities.

    Speaking to a Indian news channel, Davy said that he has decided to come out with his story now as he fears that he would be extradited to India and treated as a terrorist when the whole operation was planned by powerful people from within India.

    He said that India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, knew everything about the operation and had worked in tandem with British agency MI5.

    “There was communication between RAW and MI5. RAW knew everything. The cargo, the drop plan, the location,” Davy said.

    “Who will fly to India from Pakistan without clearance? It is unthinkable,” he added, while also revealing that he was called to Karachi on December 16, a day prior to the arms drop, and told that he will have to finish the job within 48 hours otherwise the “window” would get closed.

    To authenticate his claims, Davy said that the subsequent court case had proved that the military radar meant to keep track of the aircraft’s flight path was switched off that night on orders from RAW.

    “What I am saying is just the logical explanation, don’t take my word,” he quipped.

    Revealing more explosive information, he said prior and immediately after the arms drop he was in touch with a Member of Parliament, who in turn told him that the PMO was in the loop.

    “I was helped out of the Mumbai airport. Then I was brought to Delhi and then over the land border to Nepal in the back seat of a MP’s car. I was taken in a convoy; people with AK-47s were in cars in front and the rear. I was being whisked away by people who had the power to do it.”

    On the motive behind the entire operation, Davy said that the arms were meant for self protection. “It was against state sponsored Communist terror and violence perpetrated by CPI (M).”

    He said, “I came from an affluent part of the world and on visiting West Bengal was touched by the poverty and appalling conditions. I worked 15 years for the poor people of West Bengal…I saw my own friends being killed…we had to defend ourselves that was the whole background.”

    Later adding: “There were political forces in Delhi who wanted to further their political interest. The design was to ensure President’s Rule in West Bengal. So people were armed.”

    Davy said that he would come out with more details about the sensational case within a few days.

    The other personae dramatis in the case, Peter Bleach, has also come out in support of Davy and claimed that the Indian government was behind the job and the entire purpose of the operation was to destabilise the Communist government headed by Jyoti Basu in West Bengal.

    Whatever may be the truth behind the controversial case, subsequent governments, indeed, have been guarded about the entire sequence of events, and even a RTI query on the issue was turned down.

    Reacting to the development, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat sought an explanation from the Centre.

  Further reading: 1) Kim Davy’s Interview   &   Video

                           2) Peter Bleach’s Interview   &   Video

Trinamool Congress activist runs a firearms manufacturing unit from his residence at Baranagar, West Bengal

March 30, 2011

 

   A huge cache of arms and ammunition were recovered during a recent police raid in a house of a Trinamool Congress activist at Baranagar in North Kolkata. It is not that firearms have been only stockpiled there, the house owner Jhantu alias Ashoke Sur, used to run an arms manufacturing unit from his residence. Ashoke , known as a staunch Trinamool activist, managed to escape police net but his wife Dolly, also a Trinamool Congress supporter, was arrested.

    During the raid the police found a modernized arms manufacturing unit at Ashoke’s residence. It is a full-fledged workshop fitted with electric saw, drill and lathe machines only to manufacture firearms and ammunition. The basement of a three-storey building is the place where the workshop is located. The entry is strictly restricted. Only known arms dealers and criminals are allowed to sneak inside through an underground small tunnel. The people in the locality and even neighbors of Ashoke Sur alias Jhantu, owner of the building as well the arms manufacturing unit at Jadab Chandra Ghose Lane, had no idea that arms are manufactured in his house and a huge cache of arms and ammunition are stockpiled there. Sur live with his wife in the ground floor of the house and both of them are known to be active Trinamool Congress workers. Jhantu’s brothers stay in the same house occupying first and second floors and all of them are said to be Trinamool Congress activists.