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Title: The real story of Indian Airlines's plane IC 814 hijack in 1999

Published: 7 Jan 2018

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Hindi website of Indian History

Hijacking summary

Date: 24 December 1999 – 31 December 1999
Site Hijacked in Indian airspace between Kathmandu, Nepal and Delhi, India; landed at Amritsar, India; Lahore, Pakistan; Dubai. United Arab Emirates and Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Passengers 176
Survivors: 190
Aircraft type: Airbus A300B2-101
Operator: Indian Airlines
Registration: VT-EDW
Flight origin: Tribhuvan International Airport
Kathmandu, Nepal
Destination: Indira Gandhi International Airport
Delhi, India

The aircraft was hijacked by gunmen shortly after it entered Indian airspace at about 17:30 IST. Hijackers ordered the aircraft to be flown to several locations. After touching down in Amritsar, Lahore and Dubai, the hijackers finally forced the aircraft to land in Kandahar, Afghanistan, which at the time was controlled by the Taliban. The hijackers released 27 of 176 passengers in Dubai but fatally stabbed one and wounded several others.

At that time most of Afghanistan, including Kandahar where the plane landed, was under Taliban control, who resisted allowing the plane to land there. After eventually granting the plane landing rights, the Taliban still pressured the hijackers to release the hostages and give up on some of their demands.Taliban fighters surrounded the aircraft to prevent any Indian military intervention.

The motive for the hijacking appears to have been to secure the release of Islamist figures held in prison in India. The hostage crisis lasted for seven days and ended after India agreed to release three militants – Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Masood Azhar. These militants have since been implicated in other terrorist actions, such as the kidnap and murder of Daniel Pearl and Mumbai terror attacks.The hijacking has been seen as one of the millennium attack plots by al-Qaeda-linked jihadists.