The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Punjab government to take a decision within three weeks on the parole application moved by Abdul Latif Adam Momin, one of the convicts in the 1999 Kandahar plane hijack case.
Momin, a life convict, had approached the high court seeking parole on the ground that he had been behind bars for the last over 15 years and wanted to meet his mother aged 74 who is suffering from old-age ailments. The court was informed that the petitioner had already submitted his parole application to the state government long back but there had been no response.
In Patiala jail since December 30, 1999, Indian national Momin is linked with Pakistan-based militant outfit Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM). On February 25 this year, the high court had upheld the life sentence awarded to Momin by the special anti-hijacking court in Patiala on February 5, 2008.
After taking off from Kathmandu en route Delhi on December 24, 1999, the IC-814 Indian Airlines flight with 179 passengers, including 24 foreign nationals, and a crew of 11 on board was hijacked and made to touch down in Amritsar first before being flown to Lahore for refuelling and then landed in Dubai and, later, Kandahar in Afghanistan.
At Dubai, the hijackers released 26 wounded passengers along with the body of murdered Rupin Katyal. The remaining hostages, including 20 foreign nationals, were released after eight-day ordeal on December 31, 1999, at Kandahar, and flown back to India in a special aircraft.