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December 26, 1999
'There is no way the hijackers could have passed six hours on the tarmac'
Syed Firdaus Ashraf
A report on a television channel on Sunday afternoon said that four Indian Airline personnel in Kathmandu were suspended for negligence and brought to New Delhi for interrogation. However, Lalchand, manager, Indian Airlines, Kathmandu, clarified to rediff.com in a telephone conversation that the news was baseless and only Nepal policemen have been suspended for the security disaster that led to the hijacking of Flight 814.
A report on a television channel said that 4 Indian Airlines staffers in Kathmandu have been suspended. Is this true?
No, that is incorrect. No Indian Airlines official has been suspended. Only Nepal police have been suspended as they were supervising the security operations.
It was mentioned in the report that four passengers who boarded the flight along with one passenger had no names on their tickets.
This is also baseless. There were four passengers who were upgraded from Y class to J class at the last moment and that is why their names were not mentioned in Y class. Those four passengers were Mr and Mrs Grover, the other two were Mr and Mrs R Singh. So, it is baseless to state that their names were not mentioned in the Y class.
It is said the hijackers arrived on a Pakistan International Airlines flight and boarded Flight 814 on the tarmac itself. Is this true?
No, I don't believe that.
The PIA plane came to Nepal at 9.30 am and left at 10.30 am. Our flight arrived at 3.25 pm and left at 4.10 pm. So there is no way the hijackers could have passed six hours on the tarmac.
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