Danish national Niels Holck doesn’t want the world to think of him as a terrorist. And a memoir in English and participation in a documentary project are part of his mission to get his version on the record.
Holck, under the forged identity of Kim Davy, was at the center of a conspiracy case involving an arms drop in Purulia in December 1995, detailed in The Arms Drop, a special presentation at North America’s largest documentary film festival, Hot Docs.
Danish director Andreas Koefoed’s film is a deep look at the December 1995 incident, in which arms and ammunition apparently meant for the socio-spiritual organisation Ananda Marg group, were dropped over rural Bengal.
Actors in a reenactment of the Purulia arms drop in the documentary. (HT Photo)
Koefoed said of Holck, “He has idealistic aims, but his methods have been very criminal. He used to be ready to break the law for his cause.”
Holck was an Ananda Margi. In an interview, he said, “I’ve started writing a book (about the case). All my friends call me ‘the Indian’ and in India, I’m seen as a terrorist. I feel like I cannot silence this to death, I have to go right in the middle of it.”
Koefoed has the two main characters in the episode, Holck and British arms dealer Peter Bleach, talking directly into the camera.
He also recreates the past with actors, adding to the drama. The film captures the period between two trials in Denmark, when a court first judged Holck fit to be extradited to India, and another overruled that on human rights grounds.
Until the 2010 trial, Holck lived an almost normal life near Copenhagen: “In 2003, the Danish Justice Minister said in Parliament that I could not be extradited. I got a child and I started living a normal life. I started a company. Then seven years later they turned the tables.”
Holck ran a solar energy firm, which he claimed closed down because the Danish government changed laws to target him. His wife divorced him; they have two children, named Arjuna and Jaya. He’s now a consultant in the alternative energy field. Bleach runs a hotel in England.
Holck still lives in the shadow of the past: “The law is such that if the extradition order was resent (by India) with, let’s say, a slight change of diplomatic assurances, the Danish judicial system could be obliged to rerun the case. Then I’m in for another year-and-a-half of this circus.”