Air India
Air IndiaReuters

Delhi has sounded high alert at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport after Intelligence agencies warned of a possible hijack of an Air India flight heading to Kabul in Afghanistan.

Intelligence Bureau issued the alert on Sunday and warned that the possible hijack could be similar to the Kandahar hijack in 1999, when terrorists hijacked Indian Airlines flight IC 814 from Indian airspace and flew it to Kandahar in Afghanistan.

IB has asked the airport authorities to tighten security at the IGI airport and conduct proper scanning of the passengers and crew of the flights flying to Kabul. Acting upon the alerts, the Delhi government has deployed National Security Guard (NSG) black cat at the airport.

The alert followed with Saturday's threat phone call received by the officials at Air India (AI) Office in Kolkata, West Bengal. The AI officials immediately filed a complaint at Bowbazar police station.

"The Bureau of Civil Aviation has been contacted and all standard precautionary measures have been taken. Flight operation is normal from Kolkata," IBNLive quoted AI spokesperson as saying.

During the 1999 hijack, India had to release three terrorists, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and Maulana Masood Azhar from Indian prison in return for the 174 passengers and 11-member crew.

The Pakistan-based Islamist terror outfit Harkat-ul-Mujahideen was believed to have carry out the hijack, in which one passenger was stabbed to death by the hijackers. 

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