Kandahar hijack: BJP leader Yashwant Sinha says ‘passenger safety’ was topmost concern

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Published: July 3, 2015 7:30:57 PM

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha on Friday said that the safety of passengers who were onboard IC-814 was the top most concern from the moment the aircraft was hijacked in Kathmandu in 1999.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha on Friday said that the safety of passengers who were onboard IC-814 was the top most concern from the moment the aircraft was hijacked in Kathmandu in 1999.

“I was the member of the Cabinet Committee on national security, which was the highest political body to take decisions in such matters and from whatever I can recall, from the moment the plane was hijacked in Kathmandu the most important consideration weighing with everyone was to save the lives of the passengers,” Sinha told ANI.

“Now we can debate whether the plane could have been stopped or halted in Amritsar. We would have run the risk of the plane being blown up, the hostages being killed and then perhaps we would not have been sitting and discussing like we are doing today,” he added.

Sinha’s remarks come after former RAW chief A.S. chief told a leading English newspaper in an interview earlier that the Crisis Management Group (CMG) had ‘goofed up’ the operation. He stated that the hijackers gained an upper hand once the plane flew out of India.

The IC-814, which was en route from Kathmandu to New Delhi, was hijacked by terrorist group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and taken to Kandahar in Afghanistan.

The crisis lasted for seven days and ended after India agreed to release three militants – Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Maulana Masood Azhar.

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