RTI reply - No records of investigations of 1986 flight available
In a reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking information regarding investigation of the Government of India amidst reports of the direct Libyan responsibility, it has been informed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) that no records on a possible criminal investigation by the Indian government are available regarding the 1986 Bombay-New York flight of Pan American airlines.
A Libyan terrorist group had hijacked the PanAm flight at the Karachi airport on 5th September, 1986, which was on a flight from Sahara International airport in Bombay to John F Kennedy airport in New York City. Out of the 360 passengers on board, 20 were killed, including the air hostess Neerja Bhanot, an Indian.
The Joint Secretary at MEA Mr. Rajeev Shahare has informed the applicant that the Indian embassy in Tripoli had been temporarily shut and that no records were found on the hijack incident.
The applicant has claimed that the US government had not been giving compensation to the Indians and they want the Indian government to intervene. In the public announcement dated 31st October, 2008, the US government had made a public announcement excluding the Indians from getting compensation from $ 1.5 billion funds given by Libya to the US for the victims who had filed suits in US courts. It was reported that under the U.S. law, the US government can address only Americans in a claims settlement procedure. Foreign nationals would have to go to their own governments to negotiate a similar arrangement, or use their own courts.