'ISI tried to hijack Rajiv-piloted plane'

'ISI tried to hijack Rajiv-piloted plane'

Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had planned to hijack a plane steered by Rajiv Gandhi, then a pilot with Indian Airlines, in 1971, but the Indian spy agency thwarted it by arresting one of the agents hired by the neighbouring country, a soon-to-be-released book by former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer R K Yadav has claimed.

The book, “Mission R&AW”, said the author, will deal with a variety of issues involving the spy agency, and important incidents like the 1962 conflict with China and the role of Indian intelligence agencies in the 1965 war with Pakistan, among other issues.

In his book, Yadav describes how the RAW, under the leadership of R N Kao, thwarted the ISI attempt to hijack a plane from Srinagar.

“This was in early 1971. The agency arrested an ISI agent in Srinagar, and during questioning, he told his interrogators he was there to hijack a plane. The plan was to hijack a plane in which Rajiv Gandhi was the pilot,” Yadav told Deccan Herald.

However, the RAW leadership decided to use this to get back at the ISI. They made the agent “hijack” a plane and it was landed in Lahore.

“This incident gave us the opportunity to ban flights from Pakistan from using our airspace, and hampering military transport to East Pakistan (Bangladesh). This was a masterstroke from Kao,” he said.

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