The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) came in for strong criticism on Thursday over its team landing in Copenhagen to seek extradition of the main accused in the 1995 Purulia arms drop case, Kim Davy, with an expired warrant. Terming the goof-up as an “oversight”, a CBI official said that the agency has now sought revalidation of the warrant, which will be extended till Aug 20. The warrant expired in January.
The government had sent a two-member team – a CBI officer and a lawyer – to Denmark seeking Davy’s extradition. The team left for Denmark May 16. Davy had earlier alleged that Indian intelligence agencies had a role in the arms drop case. Speaking to a leading news channel in India Davy had alleged that the then P.V. Narasimha Rao government had plotted the operation to destabilise the West Bengal government by arming locals in the Left-ruled state. He claimed that India’s external intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) planned the operation with the help of its British counterpart MI-5.
By Thursday evening however, the Kolkata Special Crime Branch officials of the agency had scrambled to get the fresh warrant which was issued by the special CBI court and a scanned copy was sent to the the team in Copenhangen. The agency then sent original copy of the warrant as well so that team there is fully equipped when hearing resumes today. “All documents are in order with the CBI team,” CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said in Delhi. A two-member team of CBI is in Copenhagen to assist authorities there with the facts and evidence collected against Davy. Though India is not a party to the case in the Danish court, the role of the team is limited to helping the prosecutors there with necessary material evidence. A five-member constitutional bench of the Denmark High Court is hearing the plea of the Denmark government which challenged a lower court order against the extradition of Davy to India.
The decision to despatch the CBI team was taken days after Davy and one of the convicted persons in the case, Peter Bleach, had alleged that the Purulia arms drop operation was planned by the Indian government and its intelligence agencies to destabilise the Left Front government in West Bengal. The government had, however, quickly denied the allegation saying it was aimed at misleading the prosecuting agency and the court in Denmark which are seized with the matter of his extradition to India. The CBI had registered the case on December 28, 1995 after sophisticated arms including AK-47 assault rifles, anti-tank grenades and other weapons were dropped from a foreign plane in the fields of Purulia in West Bengal on the night of December 17, 1995.
An Interpol Red Corner Notice was issued against Kim Davy in 1996 on the request of the agency. Since he was traced to Denmark in 2001, efforts continued to extradite him to India even though there was no extradition treaty between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury, criticising the CBI, said they have a “lackadaisical approach” in seeking the extradition of Davy, accused of dropping a cache of arms in West Bengal’s Purulia district from an An-26 aircraft Dec 17, 1995. “CBI must immediately change its lackadaisical approach. They must correct it in the interest of the country. It is a very serious matter considering internal security,” said Yechury, adding, “CBI must ensure Davy’s extradition in the interest of the country”.
Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin
Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.
The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.
Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.
Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.
Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.
Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told
The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.
The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.
Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.
DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.
The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.
The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.
But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.
Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.
It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.
Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus
New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.
Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.
The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.
According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.