On Christmas Eve 1999, an Indian Airlines Flight IC 814 takes off from Kathmandu, Nepal on its way to New Delhi, India. En route the Flight is hijacked by five masked men who have managed to smuggle on board guns, knives and grenades. The 189 passengers and crew on board are held at gunpoint as the hijackers force the pilots to fly to Lahore Pakistan.
As the drama unfolds – we follow IC814 through its journey as it travels through half the world. First Amritsar India, then Lahore Pakistan, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and finally Kandahar Afganistan, then under the Taliban regime. Along the way this haphazard journey claims an innocent life.
The waiting then starts for the exhausted passengers on the plane. The Indian government which does not recognise the Taliban regime takes three days to send in a team of negotiators. The hijackers are demanding the release of terrorists imprisoned in Indian jails as well as ransom money. Can the negotiators influence these trained, implacable terrorists? What will happen to the passengers as hours stretches into days? What will be the final outcome? And what will be the repercussions of that decision?
The documentary looks at those fateful eight days through the stories of many of the key players involved in the event. From Capt Devi Sharan who piloted the plane and Anil Sharma who was its Chief Steward to many of the passengers who were on this ill fated journey. The film also has exclusive interviews with key government figures like Brajesh Misra, Former National Security Advisor and Ajit Doval, Former Head of the Intelligence Bureau and Member of the Negotiating team.
IC 814 has been produced for the National Geographic Channel.