Sequence of Events, Christmas Eve 1999 to New Year's Eve 2000
About 1700 Hrs IST IC-814 VT EDW, A- 300 soon after entering Indian airspace, the aircraft was hijacked over Lucknow.
The aircraft went to Lahore, where it was denied permission to land.
Meanwhile, the news of the hijack has spread.
The passengers were made to change their seats on board.
However, the NSG could only fly out by 1955 Hrs, by then, the aircraft had already taken off from Amritsar.
The Punjab CMG, Crisis Management Group swung into action, soon after the news of the hijacking.
Then DIG Amritsar was on record, that orders from Delhi was, "impose as much of a delay as possible."
In absence of trained commandos, the option was to physically
block the runway. A fuel bowser was despatched with aim of preventing take off, and he took off at full speed.
ATC asked him to slow down, and he screeched to a halt
Capt Devi Sharan had no choice but to obey, and took off, narrowly missing the tanker in his path by inches.
IC - 814 was at Amritsar tarmac for a good 48 mins.
Due to chain of events, and the panic among the hijackers, they stabbed to death Rupin Katyal, as a message to fellow passengers
This was 24 Dec 1999
The Taliban was the ruling entity in Afghanistan at that time, and they refused permission.
It was around 0330 Hours IST, (25 Dec 1999) IC-814 running low on fuel, landed at Al Manhad Airbase, in Dubai.
The aircraft was refuelled, 27 passengers (11 Children) in exchange for fuel, and the body of Rupin Katyal was off-loaded.
The aircraft was refuelled, passenger released.
Here's an international television news item.
Incidentally, Govt of India had reached out to the Americans, and in fact, a US Navy Seal onboard USS John F Kennedy was anchored at Dubai.
The SEALS were put on Alert by Adm E Johnson about a possible rescue mission.
Refuelled, passengers released (incl body of Rupin Katyal), IC 814 was asked to bugger off, (not in as many words) from Al Manhad Airbase, Dubai.
Between 25 December 1999 till the release of the aircraft and the hostages on 31 December 1999, it was a cat and mouse game between New Delhi, Kandahar and Rawalpindi.
The arrival of Indian Negotiating Team- From Foreign Office, Bureau and Agency, the parlays in New Delhi to save our people:
Easy to blame individuals for this and that.
Then Govt of India did what it could, to save our people!