Who was Neerja Bhanot? Who saved 360 people by giving her own life

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Neerja Bhanot Biography, at the age of 22, illuminated the name of her family and was illuminated like a lamp due to her valor.

Neerja Bhanot, a woman on whose death Pakistan had shed tears along with India. Neerja Bhanot was the passenger of the plane Pan Am Flight 73, about 28 years ago, on September 5, 1986, terrorists hijacked this plane from Pakistan while going from India to New York, in which about 380 passengers were on board, including many children, the same passengers. To save her life, Neerja opened the door of the plane and pulled out many. But when she was sending a child out, only then a terrorist opened fire on Neerja’s chest and that brave Neerja gave her life. If Neerja wanted, she herself could have gone out of that door first, but she gave importance to the lives of passengers before her, for this bravery posthumously Neerja was awarded India’s highest mighty award “Ashok Chakra”. Neerja was the first woman to receive this award at the youngest. Apart from India, Neerja was also respected by Pakistan and America for her bravery.

Neerja Bhanot was only 19years old

When she got married to a patient engineer living in UAE. Then started such a period of torture which lasted for two months. When taunts, threats and beatings crossed the limit, Neerja left her husband and returned to Mumbai. Decided not to let the effect of these two months affect the rest of my life. Now I had to live with my head raised. Neerja, who modeled before marriage, choose to become a flight attendant. Worked for Pan American Airways. She was on Flight 73 (Mumbai to New York) on 5 September 1986. The aircraft had made a stop in Karachi. Neerja’s birthday was exactly two days later, which she could never celebrate.

Also read: College Girl Who Ran a Secret Radio Station To Fuel India’s Freedom Struggle – Usha Mehta

abducted by Palestinian terrorists

Aircraft The flight was hijacked by 4 armed men at Karachi airport. The aircraft had 380 passengers and 13 crew members including Neerja. The terrorists wanted the plane to be taken to Cyprus so that in return the Palestinian prisoners held there could be freed. Bhanot alerted the cockpit crew as soon as the hijackers entered the plane. While the plane was still in the parking lot, the pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer exited through an overhead hatch. Neerja was now the senior most crew member, so she took control inside the plane.

Saved US citizens by hiding passports

The targets of the terrorists were American citizens. Minutes after the plane was hijacked, they separated an Indian-American citizen. Dragging him till the exit, then shot him. The body was thrown from the plane. After this the terrorists asked Neerja to collect the passports of all the passengers. With this, the rest of the Americans present in the plane can be identified. Neerja along with other attendants hide the passports of the remaining 43 US citizens.

Not caring about herself,

Neerja kept on helping everyone, after about 17 hours the terrorists attacked. Neerja opened a door of the plane. If she wanted, she herself could have escaped by going out first, but Neerja did not do so. One by one, he started getting the passengers out. When the terrorists saw Neerja helping, they felt that if the passengers survived, then there would be a commando attack. He caught Neerja from the top and brought her to one side and shot her at point blank range.

Neerja called ‘Heroine of Hijacking’

Neerja Bhanot saved 360 out of 380 passengers that day. It was because of him that 42 of the total 44 American citizens on board the plane were able to escape safely. There was a 7-year-old child in the plane at that time, who later became a pilot. He said that Neerja became his inspiration and every single day of his life is because of Neerja. Neerja got the title of ‘Heroine of Hijacking’ all over the world.

India, Pakistan and America gave respect

The Government of India honored Neerja Bhanot with the Ashoka Chakra for her bravery. It is the highest honor given for bravery in peace time. Pakistan awarded her ‘Tamga-e-Pakistan’. The US Justice Department also honored Neerja. A film was also made on Neerja’s life in the year 2016, in which Sonam Kapoor played her character.

Neerja - Wikipedia


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