Khalistan Terrorist Gajinder Singh, Dal Khalsa Co-Founder, Dies of Heart Attack in Pakistan

by Parminder Singh Sodhi

In a dramatic conclusion to a decades-long saga of international intrigue, Gajinder Singh, one of the masterminds behind the infamous hijacking of an Indian Airlines (IA) flight to Lahore in 1981, has reportedly passed away at the age of 74 due to a heart attack. His demise, confirmed by his daughter Bikramjit Kaur residing in the UK, marks the end of a controversial chapter in the history of Sikh extremism.

Gajinder Singh, co-founder of the radical outfit Dal Khalsa, gained notoriety when he orchestrated the hijacking of an IA plane carrying 111 passengers and six crew members on September 29, 1981. The hijackers, including Singh and his co-conspirators, demanded the release of prominent Khalistani leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and other extremists. Their actions were fueled by outrage over the deaths of 16 Sikhs in police firing earlier that year at Chowk Mehta.

Following the hijacking, Pakistani authorities swiftly apprehended Singh and his accomplices, subjecting them to a trial that resulted in a 14-year prison sentence. While some of his fellow hijackers eventually returned to India or found asylum abroad, Singh’s journey took him to Germany briefly in 1996, where Indian objections prevented his entry. He later resurfaced in Pakistan, where he remained elusive for decades despite India’s persistent calls for his extradition.

The revelation of Singh’s presence in Pakistan came in a surprising turn of events in September 2022, when he publicly disclosed his location via social media, standing before Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hasan Abdal, Punjab province. This revelation underscored the ongoing tensions surrounding his fugitive status.

Parminder Singh Sodhi

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