Saturday, July 08, 2023

IB71 Movie: Meet Indian Airlines Fokker F27 Plane That Was Hijacked From Kashmir In 1971

Vidyut Jamwal starrer IB71 movie has released on the Disney-Hotstar OTT platform in India. The film is based on the hijacking of the Indian Airlines Fokker F27 Friendship plane in 1971. Sankalp Reddy directed movie released in theatres on May 12, 2023 followed by the OTT release on July 7, 2023. The film spotlights a real-life secret mission undertaken by the Indian Intelligence Bureau during the 1971 war and has received a rave response from the social media users. While the IB played a big role in the incident, the backbone of the purported mission was a decommissioned Ganga plane.

The "Ganga" was a retired Fokker F27 Friendship plane operated by the Indian Airlines, which was a division of Air India Limited. The airline focused primarily on domestic routes, and certain international routes to Asia and Middle-East. In 2005, the airline was rebranded as "Indian" and was later merged with Air India. The airline inducted a variety of aircraft, including the Fokker F27, Boeing 737/ 320, Airbus A300, Vickers Viscounts among many other planes.  

As per reports, the Fokker F27 Friendship plane was one of the oldest aircraft in the Indian Airlines fleet and was withdrawn from services a long back. However, it was re-inducted days before the hijacking, that led to the theories of involvement of Indian intelligence in getting the plane hijacked. 

The incident took place on January 30, 1971, when an Indian Airlines domestic Fokker F27, also named "Ganga", was scheduled to fly from Srinagar Airport to the Jammu-Satwari Airport. The plane was hijacked by two Kashmiri separatists and was flown to the Lahore Airport in Pakistan, where the plane was later burnt.

While all the passengers and the crew were released, India retaliated by closing down the Indian airspace for the Pakistani aircraft. It is being said that the ban helped India win the 1971 Indo-Pak war that led to the formation of Bangladesh in December 1971, formerly called the East Pakistan, hence becoming a turning point in India-Pakistan relations.

The Fokker F27 Friendship is a turboprop airliner made by the Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker. Developed during the early 1950s, it was widely used by airlines across the globe for carrying passengers and was also one of the most successful European airliners of its era. 

08/07/2023  Arjit Garg/ZeeNews

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