It took nine years to pronounce judgement on the IC-814 hijacking case as the special Patiala city court announced life imprisonment for three involved in the Kandahar plane hijack case in the year 1999.
The special CBI court today sentenced Abdul Latif, Bhupal Man Damai alias Yusaf Nepali and Dalip Kumar Bhujel to life term under sections 302, 307, 363, 342, 467 of the IPC and under 25 Arms Act and sections 4 and 5 of the Anti-Hijacking Act and section 120B of the IPC for criminal conspiracy.
All three convicts were arrested by CBI special investigator in the same year and since then were serving jail term in Patiala jail. They have been accused of helping the hijackers by arranging their stay, passport, tickets and weapons.
On December 24, 1999 the India Airlines Flight 814 was hijacked by militants en route to New Delhi. After stopovers in Lahore and Dubai, it was under militant control at Kandhar, Afghanistan. After several days of negotiations the flight and passengers were released in exchange for three dreaded Islamic terrorists held by India.
Indian government was forced to release three terrorists: Masood Azhar Mushtaq, Ahmed Zargar and Sheikh Ahmed Omar Saeed and were handed over to the Taliban militia at Kandahar.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had registered cases against 10 persons but prime conspirators in this case are believed to be roaming freely somewhere in Pakistan though Pakistan constantly denying this.
The CBI counsel had sought for capital punishment citing the sensitiveness of the case in which one person was killed and the lives of 155 others were put in danger.
The defence lawyer asserted that the three have been made scapegoat and they will appeal in High Court against the judgement.
Rupin Katiyal, the 25-year-old young man who was returning from his honeymoon in Kathmandu killed by the hijackers. His 20 year old bride was remained a hostage.