Egyptian troops stormed a hijacked Egyptian airliner at Luxor airport near Cairo, arrested the seven skyjackers, and set free all the passengers unharmed, the official Middle East News Agency (MENA) reported. The skyjackers, officially described as Libyans, Algerians and Palestinians, had seized the twin-engined Boeing 737 when it left Cairo with 96 passengers and six crew on flight to the popular Egyptian tourist centres of Luxor and Aswan. They demanded the release of prisoners held in connection with two assassination attempts in Egypt. MENA said army commandos seized the plane at 9 pm, and released the passengers, who included Japanese, French and West German tourists.
Elections will be held at an early date but the exact date for holding them was the PM’s prerogative, Minister of State for Law V.A. Seyid Muhammad told the Rajya Sabha. The minister was replying to the discussion on the Representation of the People (Amendment ) Bill, 1976. Muhammad said the government would certainly exercise the powers it had under the Constitution and “state whatever our position is”. The holding of elections was entirely the prerogative of the prime minister as was the established practice in parliamentary democracy and convention in other countries, he said.
Archaeologists discovered idols of Hindu and Jain deities embedded in the structure of Qutub Minar, the 12th century monument. This discovery, according to experts, sets at rest the controversy about the possibility of the minar having been built by Prithviraj Chauhan, the last Rajput king of Delhi, to enable his daughter to see the Jamuna from its top. Over 20 idols of Jain munis and Vishnu were accidentally unearthed by the personnel of the Archaeological Survey of India in the course of extensive repairs of the monument.