1981 Indian Airlines Flight Hijacking Case: Delhi court acquits two men

NEW DELHI: Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey granted the relief to Tajinder Pal Singh and Satnam Singh who were accused of hijacking a New Delhi-Srinagar Indian Airlines flight and forcing it to land in Pakistan in 1981.

Tajinder Pal Singh and Satnam were granted “benefit of doubt” by the court, which said the prosecution has failed to prove beyond “reasonable doubt” the charges levelled against them.

According to the prosecution, on September 29, 1981, the two allegedly hijacked an Indian Airlines flight from New Delhi en route to Srinagar via Amritsar and forced it to land in Lahore, Pakistan, where they were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The hijackers, who reportedly belonged to the Dal Khalsa extremist outfit, had demanded the release of several Khalistani extremists, including Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, among other things. The hijackers faced trial in Pakistan and they were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Both were deported in 2000 from Pakistan after serving their sentence.

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