When ‘Tipu Sultan’ was approached to ensure release of abducted IOC official
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When ‘Tipu Sultan’ was approached to ensure release of abducted IOC official

Veteran Bollywood actor and star of the mega TV series ‘The Sword of Tipu Sultan’ has revealed how he was approached by officials of Indian Oil Corporation in the 1990s when their Executive Director K Doraiswamy was abducted in 1991.

Veteran Bollywood actor and star of the mega TV series 'The Sword of Tipu Sultan' has revealed how he was approached by officials of Indian Oil Corporation in the 1990s when their Executive Director K Doraiswamy was abducted in 1991.

Khan, who was in Kashmir in the run-up to the release of much-anticipated autobiography "The Best Mistakes of My Life," said that the book has allowed him to relive his entire life again. "It has been like replaying my life and recollecting all the good and bad things that have happened," said Khan.

Terming Kashmir as one of the most important parts of his life, Khan acknowledged his famous serial depicting the life of the king of Mysore, Tipu Sultan took this relation to an altogether new level.

"I remember in 1991, I was at my Mumbai office and a delegation of IOC officials came to visit me. 

The worried delegation informed me that their Executive Director has been kidnapped in Kashmir and wanted my help to ensure his safety and ultimately his release," said Khan. "I was amused and told them, what can I do in such a case."

The delegation told him, "You are Tipu Sultan. You can do anything. They (Kashmiri Militants) will certainly listen to you and the life of Doraiswamy can be saved."

The delegation had probably heard that the serial 'The Sword of Tipu Sultan' aired on DD National in 1990 was greatly popular in Kashmir and local militants, who too used to watch it, may listen to Khan. 

K Doraiswamy was kidnapped by a militant organisation Ikhwan-ul-Muslimeen (a separatist organisation at that time) on 28 June 1991. The group was demanding release of eight militants and repeatedly threatening to kill Doraiswamy or chop off his limbs, in case their demands were not met.

Sensing the urgency of the situation, Khan penned an emotional letter in Urdu addressing the captors. "I appealing their conscience, reminded them that Doraiswamy is an innocent person. He has a family to look and just doing a civilian job plus other things," remembered Khan.

The high profile kidnapping drama continued for some weeks until Government released nine (some versions say 12) militants in exchange for the return of Doraiswamy after a 54-day long high octane drama.

After the release, the delegation of IOC officials again visited Khan with a box of sweets. They thanked Khan for the efforts, which they believe "ensured Doraiswamy was not harmed".

The IOC never forgot Khans gesture. "A decade later, I was in a flight and a gentleman came to me. He introduced himself as Chairman IOC and thanked me by saying that your letter made a difference and Doraiswamy was not harmed during that crisis situation," said Khan.

The veteran actor said that there was another time when his serial was involved in the Kashmir situation. "In the early 90s somewhere in Kashmir, there were two militants busy watching my serial and in the meantime the security forces cordoned the house and they were arrested. They had kept their weapons besides the window and were enjoying the drama," said Khan. "A certain part of my heart went for the teenage militants, who were arrested and somehow the reason was my drama."

Khan's book is set to be released on 28th October and its publishers Penguin have termed it as one of the most significant books of 2018. 

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