Saturday, October 14, 2006

When the captain would play host to the hijacker

New Delhi: They will be meeting after 25 long years but it will not take long for Captain Umesh Saxena to recognize Peter. After all, it was he who had hijacked the Air India aircraft from Mahe in Seychelles and demanded that the flight be taken to Durban in South Africa.
But for Peter Duffy, who was among the 48 mercenaries who on November 25, 1981 hijacked the Air India flight 224 from Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), it would be fulfilment of a promise that he had made to the captain - that he would see the him again.
The Air India's flight from Rhodesia was on way to Mumbai, with 65 passengers and 13 crew members and was hijacked when it landed for refuelling at Mahe. The 43-strong team of mercenaries carrying an assortment of weapons demanded that the flight to be taken to Durban where the nightmare of the crew and the passengers ended after prolonged negotiations.
The flight left for India and reached Mumbai on November 28 with no harm done to either the passengers or the crew.
13/10/06 PTI/The Hindu
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