Monday, March 29, 2010

Air Hijack

Indian Airlines Flight 814 (call sign IC-814) was an Indian Airlines Airbus A300 en route from Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu, Nepal) to Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi, India) when it was hijacked by five Pakistani nationals on 24 December 1999. Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a Pakistan-based terrorist group, was held responsible for the hijacking.

The aircraft was hijacked by armed gunmen shortly after it entered Indian airspace at about 17:30 hours IST. After touching down in Amritsar, Lahore and Dubai, the hijackers forced the aircraft to land in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The hijackers released 27 of 176 passengers in Dubai but fatally stabbed one and wounded several others.

India's lack of recognition of the Taliban-regime in Afghanistan complicated negotiations between Indian authorities and the hijackers. Taliban moved its well-armed fighters near the hijacked aircraft in an attempt to prevent Indian special forces from storming the aircraft. The hijacking lasted for seven days and ended after India released three Islamic militants — Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (who was later arrested for the murder of Daniel Pearl) and Maulana Masood Azhar (who later founded Jaish-e-Mohammed).

Indian and U.S. intelligence agencies reported of credible links between the hijackers, the al-Qaida and the Taliban. The five hijackers and the three released militants were provided a safe passage by the Taliban. The dubious role played by the Taliban was widely condemned and led to further deterioration of relations between India and the Taliban.

The flight had 178 passengers most of whom were Indian nationals who were coming back to India after vacationing in Nepal.

Transformation of India's Domestic Airlines: A case study of Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Sahara and Air Deccan [An article from: Journal of Air Transport Management]  Hijacking from the Ground: The Bizarre Story of PK 805 Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive

Watch Documentary - Air Hijack - Indian Airline Flight IC814

Links; Wikipedia - Indian Airlines Flight 814

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