[tps_footer]Sonam Kapoor’s Neerja has left audiences stunned, which portrayed the real life incident of Neerja Bhanot who was shot dead at the age of 23. ‘Neerja‘ showcased the story of a braveheart who sacrificed her life for hundreds of people to save them from the terrorists on a hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 on 5 September 1986. People can’t get over the courage and bravery Neerja had shown and are also speaking their heart out by praising her.
While people still can’t get over on the real life story of Neerja Bhanot, portrayed by Sonam Kapoor, one of the survivors of the Pan Am 73 hijack describes how Neerja was shot in front of him. Dr. Kishore Murthy who was present on the hijacked plane, explained the whole incident on how Neerja was shot dead by the terrorists.
Here’s what he said in an interview:
“25-30 passengers were killed and a large number were injured. The terrorists began screaming in Arabic. They made 300 passengers move to the front of the economy cabin. Four terrorists took position in four corners of the cabin and started shooting and throwing grenades. One person opened the door that led to the wing of the plane. I remember Neerja screaming to that passenger that he should use another escape route where there was an emergency chute. But he jumped from the wing to the ground and was, as a result, paralysed. It was very sad. But that wasn’t the end. They were probably angry with Neerja because of the way she was thinking on her feet, marshaling the limited resources available to her and saving so many passengers. I was in the sixth row of the economy class and vividly remember how they shot her at point blank range in front of me. I was shocked to see her dying. One cannot express those feelings in words. Whenever I think of that moment, I wonder: Is this humanity? What has a 23-year-old done to deserve this? She was only trying to help people. She was at the entrance of the aircraft when the terrorists boarded. She could have escaped like the pilots did, but she didn’t do it. That shows her guts and her inner strength. She was truly a great leader.”
How the plane landed to Karachi International airport:
“I was on my way to the US to attend an international conference. We were to take a Pan Am Mumbai-Frankfurt-New York flight. It came as a surprise to us at Bombay airport when we were told the flight would first land at the Karachi International Airport and then proceed to Frankfurt. Prior to our departure, we had heard that all airports in Pakistan and India were on high alert as the Americans had bombed (Libyan ruler Colonel Muammar) Gaddafi’s palace (in retaliation for the Libyan involvement in the bombing of a Pan Am flight, which crashed at Lockerbie, Soctland). When we landed in Karachi, the aircraft was hijacked by Libyan terrorists but Neerja, who was well trained in anti-hijack measures, alerted the pilots and they escaped through the cockpit window.”
Neerja could have been the first to save her life:
“She was at the entrance of the aircraft when the terrorists boarded. She could have escaped like the pilots did, but she didn’t do it. That shows her guts and her inner strength. She was truly a great leader.”
Neerja saved Indian and Americans.
“We came to know the terrorists were caught at Karachi airport and jailed in Pakistan for many years. After they escaped, they were caught by American forces in Bangkok and are still in jail. Neerja saved Indian and American lives that unfortunate day.”[/tps_footer]