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India may seek compensation from U.S. for 12 Indians killed in aircraft hijacking

English.news.cn   2013-12-25 14:01:14            

NEW DELHI, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- India may soon seek compensation from the United States for 12 of its nationals killed during the hijacking of Pan Am 73 in Pakistan more than 27 years ago, local media reported Wednesday.

The 12 Indians were on board the American flight when terrorists belonging to Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) hijacked it in Karachi way back in 1986. The attack was carried out with cover from Libyan authorities and Tripoli in 2008 had paid a compensation of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to the United States.

However, even though the funds were not from U.S. taxpayers, Washington decided to compensate only the American passengers and abandoned the Indians and those of other nationalities.

The families of the Indian victims have approached the government urging New Delhi to take up the issue with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, if not President Barack Obama, saying the Indian crew on board the flight saved the lives of Americans, and yet Washington chose to "discriminate" against the Indians, The Times of India reported.

Earlier this month, the United States had released a list of names who could claim compensation but this did not include any Indian.

"The all-Indian cabin crew saved the lives of 41 Americans on board by hiding their passports from the hijackers at the risk of their own lives. They did this fully knowing that the terrorists would immediately kill them as they were primarily looking for American targets," an unnamed source was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

The aircraft, with 360 passengers on board, was hijacked on Sept. 5, 1986 at Karachi airport by four armed men of the ANO, after it arrived from Sahar International Airport in Mumbai and was preparing to depart Jinnah International Airport in Karachi for Frankfurt Airport en route to New York.

The motivation for the hijacking was to attack the Israeli Defense Ministry, using the aircraft as a missile. But, it ended after 17 hours, with the terrorists hurling grenades and firing from their assault guns at the passengers.

Some 20 passengers were killed during the hijacking, of which 12 were from India and the rest from the United States, Pakistan and Mexico. All the hijackers were arrested and sentenced to death in Pakistan. However, the sentences were later commuted to life in prison.

Related:

Indian woman diplomat exempted from personal appearance in U.S. court

NEW DELHI, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- The diplomatic row between India and the U.S. seems to be moving towards a possible resolution, with Indian woman diplomat Devyani Khobragade, arrested more than 10 days back in New York on charges of visa fraud and underpaying her maid, Monday given accreditation by the United Nations and also exempted from personal appearance in the case, sources said.

The 39-year-old diplomat, arrested and subsequently strip- searched on December 12, was last week shifted to India's Permanent Mission at the United Nations to allow her greater diplomatic immunity from the U.S. law. As the deputy Consul General in New York, she had immunity limited to consular work. Full story

India hopeful of early solution to diplomatic row with U.S.

NEW DELHi, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- India Sunday expressed optimism that the diplomatic row with the United States over the arrest of an Indian woman diplomat in New York earlier this month would be solved soon.

Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told local media that he hopes the U.S. side would "do something" to attain a compromise with India. Full story

Editor: chengyang
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