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Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021
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' USA Has Discriminated Against Indians...'

'... and abandoned us in the Pan Am airline case,' says the spokesperson for the Indian victims on board Pan Am Flight No. 73

' USA Has Discriminated Against Indians...'
' USA Has Discriminated Against Indians...'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Aneesh Bhanot, spokesperson for the Indian victims on board Pan Am Flight No. 73, is the brother of Neerja Bhanot, the flight purser on the flight who was possibly the only Indian to be honoured by the governments of India, Pakistan and the United States.

What prompted you to approach the Punjab & Haryana High Court in 2014, almost 28 years after the Pan Am Flight 73 was stormed ?

The origins of going to the Punjab & Haryana High Court was in events which happened in 2008— just about 6 years ago. It was in 2008 that America discriminated against Indians and abandoned us, which was the reason to go to court for justice.

In 2008, Libya gave 1.5 billion dollars to USA to compensate victims of various terrorism incidents sponsored by it. There were two terrorist incidents involving Pan Am planes— in 1988 (Pan Am Flight 103, Lockerbie) and 1986 (Pan Am Flight 73, Karachi). While USA paid passengers of ALL nationalities in PA103, it decided to compensate ONLY the around 40 American passengers on the plane in case of PA73 and told the other 300 plus passengers (a large part of whom were Indians) to ‘go to their own governments and ask them to talk to Libya.’

The Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt. of India investigated the case and on September 5, 2014 stated that the stand taken by USA “is totally unjustified and smacks of rank discrimination...To expect Govt. of India to negotiate for Indian passengers with Government of Libya in such cases is unreasonable and unjustified as the flight involved was a US carrier."

Is there any evidence to suggest that the seven Indian passengers killed in Pan Am 103 were compensated ?

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