|HOME | NEWS | REPORT|
December 30, 1999
Desperate relatives now turn to the Almighty for succour
Neena Haridas in New Delhi
The relatives of passengers on board Flight IC 814 collected at the airport today morning and set off on a short pilgrimage.
Anguish and anxiety have morphed into stoic hope in them, and the relatives have now left their destiny in the hands of God.
The group of about 50 relatives today hired a tourist bus and visited temples, churches, mosques and gurudwaras, seeking divine intervention.
The first stopover was at the gurudwara in Moti Bagh where they attended the langar. Then on, the party moved on to the Baptist church at Connaught Place, followed by a stopover at the nearby ancient Hanuman Mandir. The group then decided to attend the namaz at the mosque opposite the Hanuman temple.
Though initially they were not allowed to enter the mosque, the Maulvi later relented and led a prayer for them when he was told who the people were.
Says Monu Mogha, whose brother and brother-in-law are held hostage on the ill-fated flight, "Since the negotiations are not taking us anywhere, I think only God can help us now."
Asked if they wanted the government to accept the hijackers' demand to release 36 militants in barter for the passengers lives, Ashok Gupta, whose daughter and son-in-law are on board the aircraft, said, "The government did not accept their demand for one militant, now they have increased their demand. What can we say, it is all in the hands of the government."
R S Toila, whose wife Manjula is among the hostages, says, "All we can do is wait. I don't understand what the government can do on Taliban territory when they could not do anything on our own land. If we could not halt the plane in Amritsar, what major operation can we carry out on alien land? I think only god can help us now."
The Indira Gandhi international airport lounge, which was the waiting spot for most relatives the first two days of the crisis, now wears a deserted look. The officials at the enquiry counter too look more relaxed as there are only a few phone calls to attend to. The relatives have got together and are being led by the more aggressive Sanjeev Chibber whose friend Amar Nathani and his family of six are being held hostage.
Meanwhile, there are a few faith-healers doing the rounds in the lounge, trying to relax the relatives and give hope and faith. Says Toila, "We know that nothing much is going to happen suddenly. But we can't stay at home either, we can't sleep or eat peacefully. Hence, we all stick together as we understand each other's trauma."
NIGHTMARE ON FLIGHT 814
SINGLES | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | MILLENNIUM | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK