Pilot reveals Kandahar hijack after 24 years

In December 1999, Indian Airlines flight IC-814 was hijacked from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. This incident is known as the Kandahar hijacking. After 24 years of kidnapping, a secret related to this has come to the fore. This secret has been revealed by Captain Devi Sharan, who was the pilot of the plane at the time of the hijacking. The pilot told that when the plane was taken to Pakistan, he pretended to land on the highway. He said that by doing this he wanted to scare the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) in Lahore. Captain Devisharan says that he has not mentioned this secret plan to anyone to date. The crew members during the hijacking included Captain Sharan, his co-pilot Rajendra Kumar and flight engineer AK Jaggia. Till now it was believed that the three decided to go against the decision of the Pakistani authorities and land the plane at Lahore airport. While doing this, he mistook the highway as a runway at that time, because the runway lights were off.

In fact, due to this decision of the crew members, the plane narrowly escaped landing on the highway. The crew members immediately realized that where they were going to land was not a runway but a highway. After this, the aircraft was immediately flown upwards. Flight engineer AK Jaggia told the story of the hijacked plane in 2003-04 and told how people were about to land on the highway. Jaggia had told that the plane was not allowed to land by the Lahore ATC. The runway and airport lights were also switched off. Left with no other option after getting frustrated by ATC, the search for the runway started in the dark. Finding a runway was also necessary because the plane was running out of fuel. In such a situation, the search for the runway was intensified. He further said that the runway was not being found and then a long way was seen. This long road looked like a runway when seen from the sky. He told that after this the plane was diverted to that side, but when he started preparing to land, suddenly he realized that it was not a runway. But the pilot flew the plane in time.

At the same time, a program was organized on the occasion of Aviation Safety Culture Week from 31 July to 5 August. Captain Sharan, who was involved in the program, told about the incident of landing on the highway. He told me that two terrorists were standing behind me in the cockpit. I knew that if I told anything to the co-pilot or crew members, the terrorists would know everything. So I decided to keep some things to myself. He further explains, ‘When the Lahore ATC did not allow landing, I made a plan for a fake emergency landing. I knew that by doing this the runway lights would burn and we would be able to pressurize the landing there. Captain Sharan said that due to this device, Lahore ATC felt that the emergency landing of the aircraft was going to happen. He says my plan was successful and I got information from ATC that the runway is open. After this, we made the emergency landing of the aircraft there. He claims that even his co-pilot and crew members did not know about this plan.

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