Fugitive hijacker of 1981 IA flight reveals his location in Pakistan

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Gajinder Singh
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New Delhi–Gajinder Singh, an accused of the hijacking of an Indian Airlines airplane to Lahore in 1981, has reportedly revealed his current location in Pakistan through a social media post, contradictory to Islamabad’s denial of his presence.

The whereabouts of Gajinder Singh, a wanted terrorist and the co-founder of radical outfit Dal Khalsa, reportedly surfaced after he posted an image of himself, posing for the camera in front of Gurdwara Pania Sahib at Hasan Abdal in Pakistan’s Punjab province, on his Facebook profile on Monday.

On September 29, 1981, an Indian Airlines Boeing 737 domestic passenger flight from the Delhi’s Palam Airport to the Amritsar’s Raja Sansi Airport was hijacked by five militants of the Dal Khalsa led by Gajinder Singh and was taken to Lahore Airport in Pakistan. The plane had 111 passengers and 6 crew members on board.

The Dal Khalsa had been demanding a separate Sikh homeland of Khalistan.

Gajinder Singh, talked to Natwar Singh, the then India’s ambassador in Pakistan, and put forward their demands.

They had demanded the release of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and other fanatics from the Khalistan movement, and a sum of $500,000 in cash.

The hijackers faced trial in Pakistan and they were sentenced to life imprisonment. However, after spending 14 years in prison, they were all freed in October 1994. The Indian government has repeatedly tabled requests to Islamabad seeking his deportation.

Gajinder Singh’s name was on India’s list of the 20 most wanted terrorists in 2002.

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