December 24, 1975 Forty Years Ago: Hostage Crisis Ends

A look at the front page of The Indian Express, published on December 24, Forty Years Ago.

By: Express News Service | Updated: December 24, 2015 12:01:14 am
Indian Express, Indian Express front page, Indian Express newspaper A look at the front page of The Indian Express, published on December 24, Forty Years Ago.

Five pro-Palestinian guerrillas holding oil ministers and officials at gunpoint aboard an Austrian airliner surrendered to Algerian authorities abruptly after the plane returned to Algiers from a brief stop in Tripoli, Libya. They apparently decided to release their hostages and surrender their weapons after failing to obtain a Boeing-707 to replace their Austrian Airlines DC-9. The gang was believed to have wanted to fly to the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, with their hostages, but the five-hour trip was beyond the range of the DC-9. The surrender ended a drama lasting almost 20 hours when six terrorists first burst into the Opec headquarters in Vienna during a ministerial meeting to discuss oil prices. An Austrian policeman, a Libyan Opec guard and another official were shot dead and a member of the gang seriously wounded. The guerrillas seized about 90 hostages, including oil ministers and delegates, and the Austrian Government granted them a free passage out of the country.

Shyama Charan Shukla was sworn in as Madhya Pradesh chief minister in Bhopal. The outgoing CM, P.C. Sethi, and his ministerial colleagues were present at the ceremony. Earlier in the day, Sethi, who is set to join the Union cabinet as minister for chemicals and fertilisers, tendered his resignation to the governor.

Press Freedom
The prime minister wants the press to report events correctly and without bias. Speaking to a group of journalism students from Poona University who had called at her house, Indira Gandhi said the press in India was generally owned by certain groups and projected ideas of those particular groups only. She asked the students to name any country where the press was completely free. “There are different ways of handling them, we have done it crudely because we did not have any experience in this line,” she said.

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