In the year 1999 the Indian Airlines Flight 814 (IC 814) was hijacked by Harkat-ul-Mujahideen with the support and active assistance from Pakistan’s ISI. The aircraft was en route from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal to Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi on 24 December 1999.
The hijackers succeeded in landing the aircraft in Kandahar, Afghanistan, which was then under the Talibanis. The aircraft that had 176 passengers and 15 crew was held hostages and the terrorists said they would be released only if the Indian authorities release the deadly terrorists namely Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Mulana Masood Azhar.
On 31 December 1999, the Indian government agreed to the terms of the terrorists but by then there was one fatality and 17 were injured. And now a sensational information has been revealed by a retired Air Marshal from the Indian Air Force who had served the nation for 42 years.
Air Marshal S Y Savur alleged that journalist Barkha Dutt, who was then with NDTV, threatened to fire him (who was then Air Commodore commanding AF Station, Palam) if her team wasn’t let in to the sensitive area at the time of hijacking.
Below is his statement on Barkha Dutt:
- Namaskara (as they say in Karnataka), Good morning. I like Barkha Dutt. In December 1999 she threatened to have me (then an Air Commodore commanding AF Station, Palam) fired if I did not let her team in to Tech Area (the 3 terrorists being taken to Kandahar). I retired as Air Marshal.
- Then she did that 26/11 show. I had retired and was watching “live”, “breaking” etc and wondered where the security guys were because it was more like a real time SITREP (situation report). Only later did caption say that there was a 5 minute delay in broadcast. But, I like….
After few hours of making this statement on twitter, Air Marshal S Y Savur deleted both of his above tweets and said “Since Ms Barkha Dutt has stated that I have attacked her, something I have never done to any fellow Indian, I have deleted the tweet. But I stated the truth about that stressful morning in December 1999. I will carry the memory to my grave”.
Since Ms Barkha Dutt has stated that I have attacked her, something I have never done to any fellow Indian, I have deleted the tweet. But I stated the truth about that stressful morning in December 1999. I will carry the memory to my grave.
— Air Mshl S Y Savur (retd) (@veteran10525) November 30, 2018
Below is the screenshot of the deleted tweets by Air Marshal S Y Savur: