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Highjackjing Of Indian Airlines Flight 814 (Kandhar) – Indian History – Free PDF


  • On December 24, 1999 IC 814 with 178 passengers and 13 crew members left Kathmandu for Delhi. It entered Indian airspace at 5.30 pm and was hijacked shortly after.
  • According to interviews with the crew later, first a masked man stood up and threatened to blow up the plane.Four others in red masks got up and positioned themselves at different points in the aircraft.
  • They directed the pilot Captain Devi Sharan to fly to Lahore. The captain of the IC flight then said there was insufficient fuel and persuaded the hijackers to allow him to land the plane at Amritsar. attacks against India.


  • The government led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was thus given the opportunity to intervene directly, block the aircraft from taking off, start negotiations as a first step but aircraft flew immediately as the terrorist were suspicious.
  • Due to extremely low fuel level, the aircraft requested an emergency landing in Lahore, Pakistan. Pakistan initially denied the request. Pakistan briefly also switched off all lights at Lahore Airport.
  • On understanding that the only other option for the aircraft was to crash land, Lahore Airport switched on its lights and allowed the aircraft to land. India made two requests to Pakistan.


  • Vajpayee had no idea about the hijacking for 100 minutes. The aircraft took off for Dubai where 27 passengers aboard the flight were released.
  • The hijackers also released a critically injured 25-yearold male hostage, Rupan Katyal, who was stabbed by the hijackers multiple times. Rupan had died before the aircraft landed in Al Minhad Air Base, in Dubai.
  • Indian authorities wanted Indian commandos trained in hijack rescue to assault the aircraft but the UAE government refused permission.


  • After the aircraft landed in Kandahar, Taliban authorities offered to mediate between India and the hijackers, which India believed initially.
  • The Indian Government sent in a team of negotiators, headed by Vivek Katju, to discuss the demands of the hijackers, which included the release of:
  1. Maulana Masood Azhar
  2. Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh
  3. Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar


  • After the three militants landed in Kandahar, the hostages aboard the aircraft were freed. On 31 December 1999, the freed hostages of Indian Airlines Flight 814 were flown back through special plane.
  • Meanwhile, the Taliban had given the hijackers ten hours to leave Afghanistan. The five hijackers departed with a Taliban hostage to ensure their safe passage and were reported to have left Afghanistan.


  • The incident is seen as a failure of the BJP government under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and IB chief Ajit Doval said that India would have had a stronger negotiating hand if the aircraft had not been allowed to leave Indian territory.
  • The case was investigated by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which charged 10 people out of whom seven including the five hijackers were still absconding and are in Pakistan.
  • Flight Engineer Anil K. Jaggia also wrote a book specifically depicting the events that unfolded during the hijacking ordeal. His book is titled IC 814 Hijacked! The Inside Story. The book was written in collaboration with Saurabh Shukla.


Indian History | Free PDF