BGPMUS-BGPSSS: Press Statement-15-03-2013

51, Rajender Nagar, Bhopal – 462010



C/o Delhi Science Forum, D-158, Saket, New Delhi- 110017


15 March 2013

Responding to criticism about the brazen manner in which the Italian
Government had reneged on the commitment made to the Supreme Court of
India, Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh stated in Parliament on 13.03.2013
that: *“Our government has… insisted that the Italian authorities respect
the undertakings they have given to the Hon’ble Supreme Court and return
the two accused persons to stand trial in India. If they do not keep their
word there will be consequences for our relations with Italy.” *While this
purported resolve on the part of the Government of India (GOI) is wholly
welcome, it is, however, doubtful if the GOI would actually take all
necessary steps to ensure the return of the said accused to India in the
light of the GOI’s shameful past record in this regard.

It is a well-known fact that the GOI has done pretty little to bring Warren
Anderson, accused No.1 in the Bhopal Gas Leak disaster criminal case, to
justice even twenty-eight years after disaster. BGPMUS and BGPSSS would
like to point out that it was based on a written undertaking that he would
return to India to stand trial that Warren Anderson was allowed to fly back
to the U.S. within six hours after he was arrested in Bhopal on 07.12.1984.
It is, therefore, evident that the written undertaking on behalf of
Anderson was given only for hoodwinking the Bhopal gas-victims and other
concerned citizens and not for holding the accused to account. The
connivance on the part of the GOI in allowing Warren Anderson to go
scot-free is apparent on the face of it. In all these years, the Government
of Madhya Pradesh too has not exerted any pressure on the GOI to seek
extradition of Warren Anderson from the U.S. to stand trial in India. Other
instances of tardiness/active connivance on the part of the GOI in allowing
accused persons to flee the country include the following:

– On 29.07.1993, Ottavio Quattrocchi, an Italian businessperson who
acted as a conduit for bribes in the Bofors scandal, managed to escape from
India because of the unwillingness on the part of the GOI to take timely
action despite having adequate prima facie evidence against him in the
matter. On two more occasions in 2006 and 2007, the GOI intervened to let
him completely off the hook.

– On 22.12.1995, Kim Davy, who was instrumental in air-dropping a large
consignment of AK-47 rifles, pistols, anti-tank grenades, rocket launchers
and thousands of rounds of ammunition in Purulia district of West Bengal on
17.12.1995, was allowed to escape from the Mumbai airport despite the
Indian Air Force  managing to force-land the aircraft in which he was
travelling. Since then, Kim Davy, who has actively aided and abetted
terrorist activities in India, has found a safe haven in Denmark and the
GOI – other than pretending that it is seeking Kim Davy’s extradition to
India – has done little to mount pressure on the Government of Denmark to
hand-over the terrorist to India.

– Peter Bleach, co-accused in the same Purulia arms-drop case, who was
arrested by the police at the Mumbai airport on 22.12.1995 and who was
subsequently sentenced to life-imprisonment, was granted Presidential
pardon at the behest of the British Government and was allowed to leave the
country on 04.02.2004. As to why the British Government had come to the
defense of a terrorist and as to why the GOI was lenient enough to let go a
terrorist, who was caught red-handed while aiding and abetting terrorism in
India, are matters that require serious introspection.

– Based on an undertaking by the French Government on 06.01.1998, the
two French nationals Francois Clavel and Elle Philippe, who were arrested
in 1996 off the coast of Kochi as accused in the Ocean survey espionage
case, were allowed to leave the country on the condition that they would
return to India by 10.05.1998. Although the French Government has reneged
on the undertaking for the last fifteen years, the GOI is yet to take the
French Government to task for failing to ensure the return of the said two
accused French nationals to India to stand trial.

– On 14.05.2004, Rabinder Singh, a Joint Secretary in the Research &
Analysis Wing (RAW – the external intelligence agency of the Government of
India) and who was suspected to be a CIA mole in RAW, managed to escape to
the U.S. reportedly with copies of several sensitive documents.  The GOI
has till date not exerted any pressure on the U.S. Administration to
handover the traitor, who has compromised India’s security.

– On 16.07.2012, an Indian fisherman was killed and three other Indian
fishermen were injured when without any provocation their fishing boat was
fired upon by guards aboard a U.S. Naval ship just off the coast of Dubai.
The GOI had done little to hold the U.S. Government responsible for the
mindless crime and to take necessary action accordingly.

– Although, as per the U.S. Court verdict of 24.01.2013, David Headley
was found guilty of playing a key role in masterminding the Mumbai
terrorist strike of 26.11.2008, the GOI has not exerted sufficient pressure
on the U.S. Government to handover the terrorist to India. The GOI is
reluctant to raise the obvious question as to why the U.S. Government is
intent on shielding Headley and shying away from extraditing him to India
if the U.S. Government has nothing to hide regarding the 26/11 Mumbai

There can be no solution to these problems until and unless the GOI and the
concerned political parties in this country are willing to give up their
subservient attitude towards Western Powers and are ready to uphold the
dignity of the people of India. The sooner they do so, the better.

Abdul Jabbar Khan

(Convener, BGPMUS)


(Co-Convener, BGPSSS)