Hijack echoes Kandahar hijacking | entertainment | Hindustan Times
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Hijack echoes Kandahar hijacking

entertainment Updated: Mar 26, 2008 15:29 IST

A new Bollywood film about a plane hijacking involving a separatist militant outfit echoes the real life hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane in 1999.

But Hijack, directed by Kunal Shivdasani, will focus on a rescue operation conducted by lead actor Shiney Ahuja inside the aircraft -- something that did not happen in the Kandahar case.

"It may seem similar to that of the Kandahar hijacking case but 'Hijack' is a purely fictional film," Shivdasani told Reuters.

"We are not pointing fingers at the Kandahar hijackers or which group was responsible behind the incident."

Five armed men hijacked the Airbus A-300 carrying 189 passengers and crew between Kathmandu and New Delhi on Christmas Eve in 1999. The plane touched down in western India, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates before landing in Kandahar in Afghanistan.

The hijackers killed one passenger early in the week-long stand-off, but the remaining passengers and crew walked free after India released three Kashmir separatist militants from jail.

India said the hijackers, who were never caught, were all Pakistani and accused Pakistan's government of complicity in the hijacking, charges it denied.

British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, one of the freed militants, was later convicted and sentenced to death by a Pakistani court for his role in the murder in 2002 of Daniel Pearl, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

"My film is thoroughly commercial and if people come to watch my film due to similarity of the film's plot to that of Kandahar incident, (it's) good for us," Shivdasani said.