New Delhi, Mar 19: In the wake of hijacking alerts in the country, the government of Friday, Mar 19, has approved the amendments to include death sentence as a punishment for hijackers, including the power to gun down a hijacked plane which is intended to be used as a missile to hit vital installations.
The prescribed changes in the Anti-Hijacking Act of 1982 were approved by the Union Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday, Mar 19 after the proposals for amendment were earlier examined by a group of ministers headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram.
The new policy suggests a legal power for rare incidents like shooting down a hijack aircraft if the hijackers intend to use the aircraft to target vital installation as it happened in New York on September 11, 2001.
The policy also seeks immobilization of the hijacked plane and disallowing it to take off if the incident takes place on the Indian soil.
During the time of Kandahar hijack in December 1999, the security forces failed to immobilize the plane when it had landed in Amritsar airport.
Four terrorists, including Maulana Masood Azhar, the founder of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan were released in exchange of 178 passengers and 11 crew members.