New Delhi: Congress leader Manish Tewari on Friday alleged that the 1999 Kandahar Hijack incident was badly handled by the then BJP-led NDA Government led by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“First of all let me congratulate Mr. Dulat for writing this book. It is imperative that more officers and politicians write so that the inside accounts and secrets of incidents, come out. See there is no doubt about the fact that IC-814 was badly handled by the Vajpayee government and that’s why the plane went to Dubai and then to Kandahar,” Tewari said.
“But the moot question which has still not been confirmed is did the then-government pay a ransom to the Taliban to get the IC-814 passengers released. There have been lots of stories which have been going around for 15 years about alleged suitcases being carried but what was the truth, the nation should know” he added.
Former RAW chief A.S Dulat had earlier said in an interview earlier that the Crisis Management Group (CMG) had ‘goofed up’ the operation. He stated that the hijackers gained an upper hand once the plane flew out of India.
In 1999, IC-814, which was on route from Kathmandu to New Delhi, was hijacked by terrorist group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and taken to Kandahar in Afghanistan.
The crisis lasted for seven days and ended after India agreed to release three militants – Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Maulana Masood Azhar.