Pranab dismisses probe in Purulia case

Kolkata: Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday ridiculed the demand for a judicial inquiry by West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and his party into the "political conspiracy" behind the arms drop in Purulia, 16 years ago.

In an obvious reference to the Purulia arms drop case accused Kim Davy, Mukherjee, the union finance minster, said, "An accused is levelling allegation and a hue and cry is being raised on that basis. Judical inquiry is demanded. Were they sleeping all these years?" he told reporters in Kolkata, before leaving for campaigning in Midnapore.

Noting that CBI had investigated the case and submitted its report, he said that the incident had taken place on the midnight of December 17-18, 1995 and after that there was a non Congress government in Delhi for eight years.

"Indrajit Gupta of CPI, who hailed from Bengal was union home minister for two years. L K Advani was union home minister for six years. Three (assembly) elections were held in Bengal since then. This allegation was never raised," he said.

In a statement on Friday, Bhattacharjee said that a political conspiracy had been exposed in the media behind the arms drop 16 years ago and demanded a judicial probe. CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat had also made a similar demand and said the inquiry should be conducted by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court