Tuesday, September 06, 2022

1981 Indian Airlines hijacker Gajinder Singh reveals his Pakistan location in social media post

New Delhi: Contradictory to the Pakistan government's denial of his presence, Gajinder Singh, an accused hijacker of a 1981 Indian Airlines flight, revealed his current location was Pakistan's Punjab province. The location of the fugitive terrorist surfaced after the individual posted an image of himself, posing for the camera in front of a gurudwara, on his Facebook profile.

The runaway hijacker of an Indian Airlines aircraft, which was headed to Amritsar and was forcibly diverted to Lahore in 1981, uploaded his image on Monday.

Singh, known as the co-founder of the radical organisation Dal Khalsa, shared his photograph, standing in front of Pania Sahib Gurudwara at Hasal Abdal in Pakistan's province of Punjab.

An Indian Airlines Boeing 737 domestic passenger aircraft, departing from the Delhi airport and scheduled to land at Amritsar, was hijacked by five terrorists of the Dal Khalsa on September 29, 1981. Reports suggest that the hijackers were armed with daggers and hand grenades. After hijacking the aircraft which was carrying around 111 passengers, the terrorists forced a diversion to the Lahore airport.

Their demand was the establishment of a separate State for Sikhs. The leader of the hijackers was Gajindra Singh, whose recent images have appeared in Pakistan. The hijackers not only demanded the release of another terrorist, and the leading face of the Khalistani movement, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, but also spoke with the Indian envoy to Pakistan, Natwar Singh, demanding a sum of USD 500,000.

The hijackers underwent a trial in Pakistan and were sentenced to life imprisonment by a court. However, they were released from jail and allowed to walk free in October 1994. Reports suggest that Singh had been on the country's most wanted list during 2002 and the Indian government has repeatedly tabled requests to Islamabad seeking his deportation.

Reports suggest that Pakistan, over the years, has denied Singh's presence on its soil.

06/09/22 India Today

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