20 years ago – Indian Airlines flight IC 814 hijacked history

flight IC 814

About 20 years ago, on 24 December 1999, Kathmandu was seeing a chilled day more than the other days. The flights scheduled to depart and arrive from Tribhuvan International Airport were not being able to be operated on time. The same day an Indian Airlines flight IC 814 was scheduled to depart Kathmandu for Delhi at 2:00 PM. However, the flight IC 814 took off Kathmandu at 4:00 PM only that day. That day not only the weather in Kathmandu was worse but also the security system of the airport was also doomed. The flight carrying a total of 176 people on board from various nationals got into the hand of hijackers just one hour after the departure.

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This incident created chaos and brought a sandstorm in people worldwide. Nepal’s airport security system was criticized all over. The government of Nepal constituted an investigating body after the incident of flight IC 814. The investigation body had inquired all the police officers and airport staff on duty that day. However, no finding has been concluded to date. No one was able to answer how a group of hijackers were able to board an aircraft with weapons from an international airport. The incident has marked more than 20 years now.

The head of the investigation body, I.G. (Retired) Hem Bahadur Singh claimed that the Pistol used for hijacking inside the aircraft could be ‘Fake’. The investigation also claimed that no staff or any individual of the airport were helping hijackers from the airport.

The hijacked Indian Airlines IC 814 had been forced to land in Amritsar, India. The Indian security forces were unable to clear the hijackers. The aircraft was then flown forcefully to Lahore, Dubai, and Afghanistan. The hijackers had killed a passenger stabbing on board the aircraft during the period. The hijackers had negotiated with the Indian Government for the release of their leader Moulam Masud Ajar and the other 3 people imprisoned in India in charge of terrorism from Afghanistan with the aircraft hijacked. Later on, the aircraft was freed from hijackers only after the Indian Government released the 4 prisoners as demanded by the hijackers. The leader released that time has been operating a terrorist institute namely Jaish-e-Mohammed which is a Pakistan-based Deobandi jihadist Islamic Jihadis group active in Kashmir.

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