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December 26, 1999
Rachana may not know of Rupin's killing
Twenty-two-year-old Rachana Katyal might not know that Rupin, her husband of 23 days, has been stabbed to death.
"She might still be under the impression that he is alive," Satnam Singh, one of the 26 released passengers, told rediff.com
Soon after Flight 814 was hijacked, Singh said the male passengers were brought up front while the women and children were sent to the rear of the aircraft. Everyone was ordered to keep their heads bowed. Hence, no passenger had a clear idea of what was happening and to whom.
"Until my wife saw me injured she didn't know I was hurt," said Singh, who was stabbed in Amritsar when the authorities dilly-dallied about refueling the plane.
Rachana, still aboard the ill-fated flight, and 25-year-old Rupin were married on December 3. For their honeymoon, they had decided on a tour package to Nepal with three nights in Kathmandu, two in Pokhra and one in Nagarkot. They would have returned home to Gurgaon, Haryana, on Thursday -- but fate played her hand. Failing to get seats on the earlier flight, the couple booked themselves on Flight 814.
"They could not get a confirmed ticket even on Friday," a relative said. "But we pulled some strings from here (Delhi) and got them on the flight."
"We came to know that Rupin was killed when we returned home on Saturday morning after a night at the airport," he continued. "The television channels kept showing his bare torso... He had been killed the previous evening but nobody told us..."
Rupin, his relative said, was a calm person. Not at all the kind who would have taken on the hijackers. "He couldn't have lost his temper or done anything rash to have become a target. He just wasn't the type."
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