More than fifty thousand people have been arrested and at least eighteen killed in nationwide agitation in India since former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was taken from Parliament to Delhi's Tihar jail on Tuesday night (19 December).
GV demonstrators outside New Delhi prison where Mrs Gandhi is held
GV PAN demonstrators through street with banners and flags
GV police cordon facing protestors
GV protestors breaking through cordon; scuffles ensuing
GV & SV arrested demonstrators put into bus which drives off (TWO SHOTS)
GV EXTERIOR Palam airport, Delhi; aircraft taxiing on tarmac
GV steps moved towards aircraft; security men on duty
SV relatives of hijacked passengers looking through terminal windows as passengers off aircraft (TWO SHOTS)
SV INTERIOR passengers moving through Customs (TWO SHOTS)
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Background: More than fifty thousand people have been arrested and at least eighteen killed in nationwide agitation in India since former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was taken from Parliament to Delhi's Tihar jail on Tuesday night (19 December). Some of her indignant supporters even hijacked a domestic airliner - with a toy pistol.
SYNOPSIS: The protest demonstrations showed no signs of easing as Mrs Gandhi spent her fourth night in jail. On Friday alone (22 December), there were six deaths in various parts of the country.
While these supporters demonstrated in Delhi, two deaths occurred in the western city of Arvi as police opened fire on about five thousand pro-Gandhi demonstrators trying to set fire to a police station. In the southern town of Bagalkot, two more died when police shot into a violent crowd. A fifth died as police tried to break up a clash between pro-and-anti-Gandhi supporters in Andhra Pradesh state, and the sixth was killed in clashes in Calcutta.
Meanwhile, an aircraft hijack carried out as a protest against the jailing of the former Prime Minister ended in near-farce on Thursday (21 December), leaving all one hundred and twenty-nine overnight hostages safe and unharmed. The plane, an Indian Airlines Boeing 737, was hijacked by two men armed with a toy pistol and a cricket ball wrapped in white cloth. The hijackers surrendered in the Uttar Pradesh capital of Lucknow, and the passengers were later flown safely to Delhi's Palam airport.