New Delhi: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah shouted at the then RAW Chief A S Dulat for “hours together” during their meeting after a decision was taken to release three hardcore terrorists in exchange for the freedom of the passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane in 1999, it was recalled on Friday.
Dulat, the former head of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), also said that Farooq felt the decision by the Union Government was a “mistake” and he had stormed off their meeting to call on Governor Girish Chander Saxena with an intention to resign.
Former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah shouted at the then RAW Chief A S Dulat for “hours together” during their meeting after a decision was taken to release three hardcore terrorists.
When the hijacking took place on December 24, the Crisis Management Group (CMG) “goofed up” the entire case by not immobilising the plane when it had landed in Amritsar, “No one was willing to take a decision and in that confusion no instructions were passed on to Punjab Police which had moved in its personnel. They carried on debating and the plane flew off,” Dulat said.
Dulat said as the CMG agreed to release the three terrorists in exchange for the lives of the 155 passengers and the crew members members to end the 8-day-old hijack crisis, he was deputed to talk to Farooq in Jammu as two of them –Mushtaq Latram and Malulana Masood Azhar — were lodged in J & K.
Recounting his meeting with Farooq, Dulat said “he shouted at me for hours together saying this was a mistake being committed by the Centre.
“After he ventilated his anger, he stormed off to meet Governor Girish Chander Saxena with an intention to resign. However, the Governor calmed him down and Abdullah eventually accepted the situation and agreed to the release of terrorists,” he said.
During the interview, he briefly mentioned about his last meeting with the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in which the BJP stalwart had said “woh humare se galti hui hai(it was our mistake)” about the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Dulat, who headed the external spy agency till 2000, before he was appointed as Special Advisor in Vajpayee’s PMO on Kashmir issue, says Vajpayee always believed that 2002 riots was a mistake and the grief was “clearly visible” on his face.