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December 30, 1999
Kathmandu denies Nepali involvement in hijacking
A Special Correspondent in Kathmandu
The Nepal government has denied that one of its citizens, Gajendra Man Tamrakar, is involved in the hijacking of Flight 814.
"I categorically rule out any Nepalese involvement in the hijack," Foreign Minister Ram Sharan Mahat said today.
The man was earlier identified as Gajendra Man Tamrakar. Sources in Kathmandu said he owned a store in Katmandu, and also dealt in pashmina shawls.
Tamrakar is said to own a stake in a Kathmandu theatre. Tall and well built, he has acted in some Nepali films.
His wife Meena says Gajendra Man changed to an Indian Airlines flight because a Royal Nepal Airlines flight was cancelled. She said she plans to file a defamation suit against a television channel that accused her husband of involvement in the hijack.
Nepali police sources accuse the Indian government and media of overplaying the Kathmandu angle. "You said four people were killed; only one was. You said AK-47s were smuggled aboard the flight at Kathmandu airport, but the hijackers only have kitchen knives and revolvers, so how can we believe what you say about Tamrakar?" they asked.
The Nepalis also deny that the hijackers travelled aboard a Pakistan International Airlines flight and transferred to the Indian Airlines Airbus last Friday. "There are no common names on the PIA and IA passenger manifests," they said. However, they do not know if the hijackers used a different set of passports for the IA flight.
The Nepal government has set up three teams to investigate the security lapses at Kathmandu airport that resulted in the hijack.
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