When Mamata Offered To Be Taken Hostage In Exchange For Hijacked Passengers

Kolkata: Former BJP leader and Union minister Yashwant Sinha, who joined Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Saturday, claimed that West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had offered to be taken hostage in exchange for passengers of a hijacked Indian Airlines flight in 1999.

“She (Mamata) has been a fighter right from the start. I’d like to tell all of you that when Indian Airlines flight was hijacked and taken by the hijackers to Kandahar in Afghanistan, we were having a cabinet meeting during which Mamata ji proposed that she would go as a hostage but the condition would be that the terrorists should let other passengers go,” revealed Sinha, who was Union finance minister then in Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s cabinet.

Mamata’s Trinamool Congress was an alliance partner of the BJP Union government at that time.

The Delhi-bound flight IC-814 was hijacked on December 24, 1999, shortly after it took off from Kathmandu. India had to release three terrorists, including the current Jaish-e-Mohammed head Masood Azhar, to ensure the release of hostages.

“She would be taken into their custody and make whatever sacrifice possible for the country,” said Sinha, who resigned from the BJP in 2018.

Also Read: Bengal Polls: Former BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha Joins Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool

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