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Monday, April 12, 2021

Forty Years Ago, March 16, 1981: End of ordeal

The fortnight long hijacking episode came to an end with the surrender of three Pakistani gunmen to Syrian authorities.

By: Editorial |
March 16, 2021 2:45:41 am
Express front page, March 16, 1981. (Archives)

The fortnight long hijacking episode came to an end with the surrender of three Pakistani gunmen to Syrian authorities. The hijackers came down to the steps of the aircraft of their country they had hijacked holding their hands high over their heads but shouting, “We are for Bhuttoism, expressing their allegiance to the political thought to the former president of the country who was executed by the present regime in 1979. They were followed by weary passengers who were received with bouquets of flowers by the Syrian information minister. Syria has made it clear that it will provide asylum to the hijackers after Libya backed out at the last moment. The political prisoners released by the Pakistani government in return of the hostages were taken to the Damascus airport hotel and reporters were not allowed to talk to them.

Indira’s assurance

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi has said that the Centre had no intention of toppling non-Congress (I) state governments as has been alleged by some people. She gave this assurance in her address to the conference of governors which concluded in Delhi. Winding up the conference, President N Sanjiva Reddy asked governors to undertake tours of states to understand the problems of people.

Asiad controversy

The multi-crore Asian Games Village project coming up in South Delhi is stirring a controversy over the issuing of a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to a contractor. It is learnt that the project engineer issued a cheque without any corresponding work by the contractor.

Chill in North India

Departing winter showed a sting in its tail when a chill gripped large parts of north India with snow continuing in the hills and intermittent rainfall in Delhi and surrounding areas. Chandigarh and parts of Haryana and Punjab experienced light rainfall.

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