Indian Airlines Flight 427
|Date||April 24 – 25, 1993|
|Site||Hijacked between Delhi and Srinagar, India|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 737|
|Flight origin||Indira Gandhi International Airport
Indian Airlines Flight IC427 was involved in an aircraft hijacking that took place in India between April 24 and April 25, 1993. Commandos from the National Security Guard (NSG) rescued all 141 hostages of the Indian Airlines Boeing 737, on the ground at Amritsar airport. The lone hijacker, Mohammed Yousuf Shah, was killed within 5 minutes of commandos entering the plane, before he could react and harm any of the hostages. The rescue was code-named Operation Ashwamedh.
The Indian Airlines Flight IC427 took off from Delhi at 13:57 for Srinagar. It had 141 persons were on board, including 126 adult passengers, 9 infants and 6 crew members. During the flight, a passenger, who first identified himself as Syed Salauddin, claimed that he was carrying pistols and a hand grenade, and asked the plane to be flown to Kabul. At 14:43, the Delhi Air Traffic Control received a message that the plane had been hijacked and was heading for Kabul in Afghanistan.
The Lahore Air Traffic Control refused to permit the plane to enter the Pakistani airspace, and the flight returned to India after circling over Lahore. Eventually, the plane landed at Amritsar in India at 15:20. The hijacker demanded refueling, and again asked for the plane to be flown to Kabul. The Crisis Management Group (CMG) at the Cabinet Secretariat of India and the Central Committee at Delhi Airport responded to the situation. The Deputy Commissioner and the Senior Superintendent of Police of the Amritsar district were sent to the airport to negotiate with the hijacker. At 18:00, the Director General of Punjab Police arrived in Amrtisar, and took charge of the negotiation process. However, the hijacker remained adamant on his demand, and even fired a warning shot which pierced through the body of the aircraft.
After the hijacker fired a shot, the CMG dispatched a team of NSG commandos to Amritsar via Adampur. Meanwhile, the negotiators were advised to continue talking to the hijacker to wear him down. At 23:00, the hijacker declared that he would blow up the aircraft if his demand was not met. The CMG then directed the NSG commandos and the negotiators to storm the plane. Over the next two hours, the team assessed the ground situation and planned the operation. At 01:00 on April 25, around 60 commandos of NSG's 52 Special Action Group surrounded and stormed the plane. The hijacker was surprised by the sudden entry of the commandos into the plane. Before he could react and fire, a commando shot at him with a silenced pistol. The operation ended in five minutes, at 01:05, without any casualty or injury to any hostage or further damage to the aircraft.
The hijacker, later identified as Jalaluddin alias Mohammed Yunus Shah, was handed over the local police. He succumbed to the pistol shot while being shifted to a hospital. Two loaded 9 mm pistols were recovered from him. The Indian authorities claimed that the hijacker was a member of Hizbul Mujahideen, but the group denied responsibility.
- "Hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC427 on 24th April 1993". Parliament of India. 1993-04-26.
- "Indian Commandos Kill Gunman to Thwart Hijacking". Los Angeles Times. 1993-04-25.
- Limca Book of Records. Bisleri. 1999.
- "National Security Guard". Indian Defence Review. Lancer. 8 (3): 61. 1993.