Not making this up: When Congress gave tickets to two brothers who hijacked a plane for Indira Gandhi
Representational Image by Marilyn Stafford

The encounter of dreaded gangster Vikas Dubey, who killed eight policemen during and ambush in Kanpur, has raised many questions in what went down during his last moments.

From Taapsee Pannu comparing it to a Bollywood film, to comedian Sapan Verma calling it the leaked script of ‘Paatal Lok’ season 2; Dubey’s death has crowned Uttar Pradesh as a twisted state.

For those who found this bizarre, let us remind you of the famous ‘Thain Thain’ by UP Police that hit the viral note.

In October 2018, two policemen were seen imitating the sound of gunfire to scare off the criminals. The incident, the video of which was posted by news agency ANI, took place in Sambhal district of Uttar Pradesh.

The video showed two cops -- one holding a gun and another one shouting 'thain-thain'. The second cop can also be heard saying words like 'maaro' and 'ghero'.

UP has a long history of stories with discrepancies that can raise brows if investigated.

One such tale goes back to December 1978. According to Kishin R. Wadhwaney's book ‘Indian Airports (Shocking Ground Realities)’, two brothers, Bholanath and Devendra Pandey hijacked an Indian Airlines plane on a domestic flight, demanding the release of Indira Gandhi, who had been arrested after the Emergency.

The duo also demanded the arrested after emergency) and the withdrawal of all the cases against her son Sanjay Gandhi.

The incident was touted as a political comedy since the Pandey brothers had carried toy weapons. After keeping passengers hostage for a few hours, they surrendered upon landing Varanasi in the presence of media.

The Indian National Congress Party rewarded the brothers with tickets for the 1980 state assembly election. Pandeys won and became members of the the legislative assembly of Uttar Pradesh.

Bhola served as a Congress MLA from 1980 to 1985 and 1989 to 1991 from Doaba, Ballia. Devendra on the other hand remained a member of the house for two terms and served the party as a general secretary of Uttar Pradesh.

Decades later, a 2014 report by Times of India revealed that Bhola was a Congress candidate from Salempur during the Lok Sabha elections.

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Free Press Journal