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December 28, 1999
Religious leaders offer to go to Kandahar
Leaders of various religions on Tuesday offered to the Indian government to go to Kandahar on a purely humanitarian mission to persuade the hijackers of the Indian Airlines plane to release the hostages on board.
Grouped under the banner of 'Religions for Social Justice', the leaders of the Hindu, Jain, Muslim, Sikh and Christian faiths also appealed to the hijackers to assure the hostages minimum living facilities.
The world community also should intercede on behalf of the hostages of different nationalities and secure their freedom from misery and bondage, front convenor Swami Agnivesh said.
''A voice for this must be raised in all parts of the world. The least that can be done is to shift them to a more liveable place with proper facilities such as food and medicines. They also need to be lodged in a warmer accommodation in the sub-zero temperature of Kandahar,'' Swami Agnivesh added.
''We, on our part, are prepared to go to Kandahar and talk to the hijackers on behalf of the passengers who are kept as hostages,'' he added.
Condemning the hijacking, the acting chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Maulana Syed Jalaludin said playing with the lives of innocent persons and putting them in a dangerous situation was illegal and condemnable.
Stating that such activities must be stopped immediately, he appealed to the hijackers to set free the passengers forthwith. They should adopt other means to get their demands fulfilled and not endanger the lives of innocent people, the Maulana added.
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