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April 6, 2000
CBI picks up a key link in hijack drama
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
The Central Bureau of Investigation today arrested the man who supplied arms to the hijackers of the Indian Airlines flight IC 814. Kumar Bhugel was picked up from his hideout in Kalimpong in West Bengal.
Flight IC 814 was hijacked over Lucknow after it took off from Kathmandu. The hijackers took the plane to Amritsar and Dubai before finally landing at Kandahar in Afghanistan. One passenger, Rupin Katyal, was stabbed to death by the armed hijackers and his body was offloaded in Dubai.
According to CBI sources Kumar's arrest and his subsequent interrogation has provided some vital links in the chain of events that led to the hijacking.
Kumar has admitted that he provided arms and ammunition to the hijackers through Yusuf Nepali. Nepali is already in judicial custody.
"It was on the basis of the information provided by Nepali that we were able to track down Bhugel. We hope to collect lot more information about the hijacking now," said a senior CBI official.
Joint Director, CBI, M L Sharma, is heading the investigations.
In another related development Abdul Latif, one of the five persons who were picked up by the Mumbai police soon after the hijacking, recorded his confessional in the court of special magistrate in Patiala.
Latif had not only organised the stay of the hijackers in Nepal, but had also helped them in crossing the Indian border.
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