NEW DELHI, India: The Central government is stunned by the expression in the media as well as in the parliament that the RAW was importing left over Soviet hardware from Afghanistan, including rocket launchers, to be foisted on the freedom fighters in Punjab. The Observer of London and Indian Express of Bombay have carried last Sunday, the story complete with Airline way number and consignment of 22 crates which allegedly contained at least one rocket launcher. According to the report the consignment which arrived at Indira International Airport from Kabul on Nov. 19 by Indian Airline flight No. IC 452, was subsequently claimed from police by RAW officials but prior to that the cargo had been X-Rayed by the security men as some stray bullets had rolled out of one of the crates and the rocket launchers had been discovered.

On Friday, the Akali Party, Member of Parliament, General Ajit Singh Aurora, made a special mention of the report in Rajya Sabha. He was supported by opposition members LK. Advani, Subramanian Swami, Gurupad Swami and others. They made a strong demand for an inquiry into the allegation. On Friday, the story of the Observer was also reproduced in the Pakistan Times, which, however, refrained from commenting upon it. Significantly there was no official denial of the story. The report mentioned the name of consignee as Director General of Communication, New Delhi, and that of the sender as Director General of Communication, Kabul. These addresses are obviously fake as there was no such post in Sanchar Bhawan.

The cargo authority’s No. 058 3035/4273 has been sealed by cargo office. Curiously, U.N.I., London correspondent knew of the story from the Observer of London, April 24.

In late March, the rockets were used in two attacks. One at a temple at Phagwara and the second on the life of Jiwan Singh Umranagal.

Never the less, these WO incidents provided sufficient Justification to push the 59th amendment in the Constitution to enforce internal emergency in Punjab. Now many of the opposition members feel that by planting the rockets on the Sikh freedom fighters, the government is attempting to project non-existent Pak-Sikh relationship in order to strike against the both.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 13, 1988