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Yashwant Sinha recalls Mamata's courage during Kandahar hijack

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: March 13, 2021 19:34 IST
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Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha who joined Trinamool Congress on Saturday narrated how West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had offered to go as a hostage in exchange for passengers of Air India's IC 814 that was hijacked by the militants over two decades ago.


IMAGE: Former BJP leader and Union Minister Yashwant Sinha addresses as he joins TMC in Kolkata on Saturday. Photograph: ANI Photo

Sinha said this while recalling the Kandahar hijacking of Air India plane on December 24, 1999.

"I'd like to tell all of you that when Indian Airlines flight was hijacked and taken by the hijackers to Kandahar in Afghanistan, we were having a cabinet meeting during which Mamata ji proposed that she would go as a hostage but the condition would be that the terrorists should let other passengers go," Sinha said.

"She has been a fighter from the start. She is not afraid of her life," Sinha said praising the feisty Bengal leader.

Yashwant Sinha was the union finance minister at that time in the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet.

Banerjee was the Railway minister when the Kandahar hijacking case had taken place.

An Indian Airlines flight from Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, bound for Delhi, was flown to Kandahar with stops in between, including one in Amritsar.

The crisis had ended only when India release three terrorists -- Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, and Masood Azhar.

The then External Affairs minister Jaswant Singh had accompanied the three terrorists to Kandahar.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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