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Thursday, October 28, 2021

September 30, 1981, Forty Years Ago: IA Plane Hijacked

They also demanded the repatriation of all imprisoned Sikh leaders to Pakistan.

By: Editorial |
September 30, 2021 3:25:33 am
The Union cabinet met on Tuesday night to review the situation created by the hijacking of the Indian Airlines aircraft to Lahore.

Hijackers of the Indian Airlines Boeing 737 set a deadline of 10.30 am on September 30 for the fulfillment of their demands, including release of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, suspect in the Jagat Narain murder case, and leaders of the Khalistan movement. They also demanded the repatriation of all imprisoned Sikh leaders to Pakistan. “We will announce our next step only after 10 am tomorrow,” Gajinder Singh, leader of the hijackers, told the Indian Ambassador to Pakistan, Natwar Singh. In a face-to-face meeting with Natwar Singh in the VIP lounge of the Lahore Airport, the Dal Khalsa supreme panchayat member, sought a contribution of $ 5 lakh for the Khalistani movement from the government of India.

Zia’s Assurance

The hijackers of the Indian Airlines plane to Lahore have asked the Pakistani president to recognise Khalistan. Besides asking for a rifle for themselves, they have also sought the intervention of the Pakistan government to secure a Sikh government. According to reports reaching Delhi, Pakistan president Zia-ul-Haq has rejected these demands. It’s understood that the Pakistan president has assured his Indian counterpart of full cooperation to resolve the issue. He told Sanjeeva Reddy that Pakistani troops have surrounded the aircraft.

Cabinet Takes Stock

The Union cabinet met on Tuesday night to review the situation created by the hijacking of the Indian Airlines aircraft to Lahore. The cabinet was told about the demands of the hijackers. The meeting took place in the absence of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who is attending the Commonwealth Conference in Melbourne. She is kept informed of the situation.

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