Wanted Punjab hijacker of Indian Airlines flight to Lahore in 1981, Gajinder Singh dies in Lahore

Meanwhile In the executive committee meeting of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee grief was expressed over the demise of Gajinder Singh.
Gajinder Singh
Gajinder SinghSpecial arrangement

CHANDIGARH: 74-year-old Gajinder Singh, the wanted terrorist and hijacker of an Indian Airlines (IA) flight to Lahore in 1981, has died of a heart attack at a hospital in Pakistan. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) passed a resolution expressing grief over the demise of Singh.

Dal Khalsa spokesperson Paramjit Singh Mand said Gajinder Singh’s daughter Bikramjit Kaur who lives in the United Kingdom with her family has confirmed the development.  Singh was co-founder of the radical outfit Dal Khalsa and in 2002 Singh was included in the list of 20 most wanted terrorists. He was among the five men who had hijacked the Indian Airlines flight IC-423 which took off from Palam airport in Delhi for Srinagar on September 29, 1981 carrying 111 passengers and six crew members on September 29, 1981 and forced it to land in Lahore.

Singh was demanding the release of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and several other Khalistani militants in protest against the death of 16 Sikhs in police firing at Chowk Mehta earlier that year.

They were arrested by Pakistan authorities on September 30, 1981, tried and were all awarded 14-year imprisonment by a special court in Lahore. They completed their sentence on October 31, 1994. The co-conspirators were Tejinder Pal Singh, Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib, Dalbir Singh and Karan Singh. 

In 1997 Tejinder and Satnam returned to India and in 1999, Dalbir and Karan managed to procure political asylum in Switzerland. In 1996 Gajinder went to Germany but was not allowed to enter that country after objections were raised by India and he went back to Pakistan. In January 2019 Manjeet Kaur wife of Singh died in Germany.

Since then Pakistan had been denying that Gajinder was in their country as the Indian Government sought his deportation but in September 2022 he had revealed his whereabouts by posting his photo on his Facebook page while standing in front of Gurdwara Panja Sahib at Hasan Abdal in  Punjab province of Pakistan. Then his social media page was also blocked in India for some time.

In September 2020, the five high priests headed by the then officiating (High Priest) Jathedar of Akal Takht (Highest Temporal Seat of Sikhs)  Harpreet Singh had decided to honour Gajinder Singh with the title Sikh warrior in-exile but the ceremony could not take place.

Meanwhile In the executive committee meeting of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC)  grief was expressed over the demise of  Gajinder Singh, one of the founder leaders of the Dal Khalsa, and condolences were expressed with his family.

The resolution passed in this regard said that the SGPC pays respect to the struggling life and sacrifice of Singh, who lived in exile for a long time.  Singh's resolutely guarding the Sikh principles and charting his life path in difficult circumstances is the epitome of his Panthic identity and the community will always remember him, it added.

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