Death penalty for plane hijackers mooted
New Delhi: Intending to free India of its "soft state" image, the Group of Ministers (GoM ) on aviation security on Tuesday recommended death penalty for plane hijackers.
According to reports, the GoM meet, attended by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Law Verappa Moily and HRD Minister Kapil Sibbal, also cleared other amendments to the Anti-hijacking Act of 1982.
Besides the death penalty, several other stringent measures are in the offing - no negotiations, shooting down of a hijacked plane and denying permission to take off if the hijacked plane is on ground.
Dr Manmohan Singh’s government during its first tenure had promised a "zero tolerance" towards such activities and chalked out an anti-hijack proposal, which recommends stringent punishment for plane hijackers.
The draft proposal was prepared by the Civil Aviation Ministry and it was cleared by the Committee of Secretaries few months back.
It was then referred to a Group of Ministers (GoM) to decide on this issue.
After the debacle in 1999, when three dreaded terrorists, including Maulana Masood Azhar, were handed over in exchange for release of 178 passengers and 11 crew members on board the IC 814 flight, several amendments to the anti-hijacking act were recommended to the then National Democratic Alliance government.
When in power, the UPA, brought in the amendment bill in 2005.
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