While the rest of the world is still waffling on their policy for dealing with hijackers, India adopts tough hijack policy that will allow it to “down hijacked commercial planes deemed to have become ‘missiles’ heading for strategic targets.”
The new law which will be introduced soon in India is an attempt to take away the debate over whether or not to shoot a plane down if it is judged to be in the hands of terrorists and hijackers and putting more people at risk on the round. According to India’s Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the new law will rule out giving into demands by hijackers and convicted hijackers will be sentenced to death.
Any plane will be declared “rogue” if it deviates from flight plans, refuses warnings and heads for a strategic target, and will be immediately escorted by military planes with the command to shoot down the aircraft possibly issued by the security cabinet, or if there is no time, the prime minister, defense minister or home minister, or appropriate high level senior officer will make the decision.
This tough policy may represent a more serious stance that may be taken up by other countries. In January, Germany and Poland introduced laws allowing them to shoot down hijacked aircraft as a last resort.