| May 19, 2019

Aircraft hijacked by Nepali Congress in 1973 to be put in museum

NEPALGUNJ, May 19: The aircraft that was hijacked by the Nepali Congress as its protest against the then one-party Panchayat Regime is to be put on display in a museum in the capital. The wreckages of the plane that crashed two years ago will be put together to give it a complete shape of an aircraft.

The hijack dating back to June 1, 1973 had been carried out by the then rebelling party Nepali Congress. The twin otter flew in the Nepali sky for continuous 40 years after the hijack before it suffered a fatal crash on February 16, 2014 at Masinelake of Arghakhanchi.
The aircraft can now been seen in the BP Museum based in Sundarijal in the capital.

Basanta Bhattarai, Durga Subedi and Nagendra Dhungel had been directly involved in the hijack of 9N ABB-DHC6 twin otter run by the then flag carrier Royal Nepal Airlines Corporation or RNAC at the direction of the then rebelling force Nepali Congress. The aircraft had taken off for Kathmandu from Biratnagar Airport carrying IC 3 million of Nepal Rastra Bank with 14 passengers on board. But it was hijacked and forced to fly towards India from over the Koshi Tappu and landed at Forbesganj by the three NC revolutionaries.

Party leader Sushil Koirala, who later headed the party and became the Prime Minister too, and other leaders Binod Aryal and Manohari Baral had also assisted the hijack.

Following the crash, its wreckages were collected and brought to Nepalgunj in a container. The wreckages will be put together to give it a single shape and will be exhibited in the museum, according to Museum Chair Parshuram Pokhrel. The rejoining of the shattered parts of the aircraft is estimated to cost Rs 6 million.

The hijack had been carried out demanding for people's supremacy and as a strategic plan to weaken the then one-party autocratic rule, Bhattarai, 62, one of the member involved in the hijack, said. RSS