West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Friday demanded a judicial inquiry by the Centre into the “political conspiracy” behind the arms drop from a foreign plane in Purulia 16 years ago.

“A political conspiracy has been exposed in the media behind the arms drop 16 years ago. And in this context and in the interest of internal security and the gravity of the incident therein, I demand a judicial probe,” the chief minister said in a statement here.

Recalling the dropping of a huge cache of arms from a plane “meant for the Anandmargis” in Purulia at midnight on December 17, 1995, the Chief Minister said, “An alert message from the Union home ministry reached the state home department a few days after the incident.

“The Central alert of December 12 was dispatched to Kolkata from Delhi by ordinary mail in a very casual manner. No advance wireless message was sent to the state on an urgent basis considering the gravity of the situation. The mail reached after the arms drop in Purulia.”

Mr. Bhattacharjee, who holds home (police) portfolio, said the state government handed over responsibility of the inquiry to the CBI considering the gravity of the incident.

“All seized sophisticated arms were handed over to the CBI by the state police. All the seized arms since the days of inquiry were in the custody of the CBI,” he added.