Kandahar Hijacking: 3 Muslims acquitted

    By TCN Staff Reporter,

    Mumbai: A Mumbai Sessions Court on 19th Jan. 2011 acquitted three persons who were accused of looting a bank in the city and send money to Pakistani terrorists to hijack the Indian Airlines plane IC-814 in 1999. The court acquitted Abdul Lateef, Yosuf Khan and Mushtaq Ahmed as the prosecution could not prove the charges.

    The police had arrested them for allegedly looting a Bank of Maharashtra branch in Boriwali area in Mumbai in October 1999. The police had alleged the money was used in funding the hijacking of the plane. The police had also claimed to recover Rs 2 lakh in cash and some hand grenades from the accused.

    The Flight 814 (IC-814) of Indian Airlines en route from Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu, Nepal) to Indira Gandhi International Airport (Delhi) was hijacked on December 24, 1999, by armed men of Pakistan-based terrorist group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. The aircraft was hijacked shortly after it entered Indian airspace. After touching down in Amritsar, Lahore and Dubai, the hijackers forced the aircraft to land in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

    The hijackers demanded release of some Pakistani terrorists from Indian jail. The hijacking lasted for some days and ended only after the country, then led by BJP, released three militants — Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Masood Azhar. Then Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh had taken the jailed three terrorists to Kandahar for release of more than 100 passengers in the plane.