Supporters of the Left parties in West Bengal, led by chairman of the Left Front Committee Biman Bose, took to the streets on Friday to protest against the ‘involvement' of the Centre in the arms-drop in Purulia in December 1995, as charged by the main accused in the case, Niels Christian Nielsen alias Kim Davy.
“Even as we protest the attempt to destabilise the Left Front government ahead of the 1996 Parliamentary and Assembly elections, we must bear in mind that a similar conspiracy against the Leftist forces is ongoing,” Mr. Bose told the protesters.
He demanded a judicial inquiry into the arms-drop case immediately.
Appealing to supporters to organise protests and mobilise public opinion against the conspiracy, Mr. Bose said: “Forces within and outside the country have been conspiring to dislodge the Left Front government in West Bengal in an unjust manner for a very long time.”
He alleged that the leadership of the ruling party at the Centre was involved in the conspiracy.
Recalling events in the 1990s, he said the then Home Minister had made a statement in Parliament saying that the headquarters of the terrorist organisation Ananda Marg had moved to Purulia, but had assured that the Centre was keeping a close watch on their activities.
Mr. Bose said that when the then Chief Minister Jyoti Basu had called for the Assembly elections to be held simultaneously with the 1996 Parliamentary polls, the arms-drop was planned to create a situation of anarchy and impose President's Rule in West Bengal and then oust the Left Front government.
He added that three inquiries into the incident were held, including one by the CBI, but none of their findings was made pubic.
Left supporters marched through the streets shouting slogans demanding an inquiry into the case and expediting the arrest of Mr. Nielsen.
‘Attempts to incite trouble'
Even though the first three phases of the ongoing Assembly elections in the State have passed off more or less peacefully, Mr. Bose alleged that attempts were being made to incite trouble, particularly in the Purba Medinipur district, in the fourth phase of polls due on May 3.
He charged that Left supporters in Khejuri in Purba Medinipur were being threatened not to attend an election rally of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
Mr. Bose said the developments there could not be viewed in isolation and were part of the ongoing conspiracy by “domestic and international reactionary forces” to oust the Left Front government.