September 29, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Japanese Plane Hijack

The skyjacked DC-8 of Japan Air Lines (JAL) with 156 persons, including 14 crew members, landed at Dacca airport, despite the air traffic control’s instructions to the contrary, at 11.01 am after its take-off from Bombay at 7.01 am.

By: Editorials | Published: September 29, 2017 12:35 am
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The skyjackers of a Japanese commercial airliner demanded from the Japanese government $ 6 million and the release of nine prisoners held in Japan as ransom for the Bangkok-bound aircraft, six hours after they forced it to land at the airport in Dacca. The skyjacked DC-8 of Japan Air Lines (JAL) with 156 persons, including 14 crew members, landed at Dacca airport, despite the air traffic control’s instructions to the contrary, at 11.01 am after its take-off from Bombay at 7.01 am. An official source said that the Bangladesh government was trying to contact the Japanese government to tell it of the demands made by the skyjackers who claimed to be belonging to a “Japanese political organisation”. They requested the Bangladesh government to “play the role of mediator and communicate their demands to the Japanese government” setting midnight as the deadline. Air Force Chief, Air Vice-Marshal A.G. Mahmud, told newsmen that the skyjackers belong to a “Japanese political organisation.”

Riots in Lucknow

The police resorted to repeated firing and burst teargas shells to quell the worst rioting in recent years in Old Lucknow. This caused fissures in the Janata Party and a crisis in the government, leading to the resignation of deputy minister, Arif Mohammed Khan. According to UP Chief Minister Ram Naresh Yadav, five persons were killed and 11 injured in the firing. However, some Janata Party legislators alleged that more than 40 persons had been killed and hundreds injured in the police firing and stabbing and firing among Shias and Sunnis.

Indira’s passport

Foreign minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is believed to have indicated to Indira Gandhi that it may not be possible to issue her a passport. This was because of the investigations into the excesses of the Emergency, which may require her presence in India.

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