KOLKATA: West Bengal police on Saturday recovered a rocket launcher, a rocket and an AK-47 rifle buried in the ground in Purulia district where a huge quantity or arms and ammunition were dropped from a foreign aircraft on 17 December 1995. The arms drop case was earlier investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The arms were recovered from Khatanga village in Jhalda block of Purulia district.
Purulia district police chief Rupesh Kumar said, “We suspect that these arms were part of the cache of arms dropped in 1995 but we are not sure though the area is the same. We are investigating the case.”
The police believe that the arms found might be part of the 1995 cache and were hidden by arms smugglers Jamaluddin Ansari and Rathu Pramanik.
The arms smugglers were arrested a few days ago. During interrogation, they revealed about these arms. It is being investigated if Ansari and Pramanick, who are now in police custody, have links with Maoists or terrorists.
Meanwhile, CID officials in Kolkata said the weapons are probably locally manufactured.The CID is awaiting a report from the district intelligence and would intervene only if necessary.
British pilot Peter Bleach was arrested in connection with the 1995 arms drop case and had spent several years in jail, but mastermind Kim Davy, suspected to be a member of Ananda Marg, fled via Mumbai airport. The arms drop created a furore as the then Left Front government had alleged that the arms were dropped for Ananda Marg, an ultra right wing socio-spiritual organisation, to carry out subversive activities in the State.