Court acquits two men accused of hijacking an Air India plane in 1981, diverting it to Lahore


A Delhi court on Monday acquitted two people in connection with the hijacking of an Air India plane in 1981, ANI reported. Khalistan supporters Satnam Singh and Tajender Pal Singh were accused of treason after they hijacked the plane flying from Srinagar to New Delhi and diverted it to Lahore in Pakistan.

The two served life terms in Pakistan and were deported to India in 2000. They were then accused of sedition and waging war against the country, reported the Hindustan Times

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On September 29, 1981, the plane was hijacked by five knife-wielding Khalistani supporters. The aircraft had 111 passengers and six crew members on board. The next day in Lahore, the hijackers initially released more than 60 passengers. Later, Pakistani commandos captured the separatists and set free the remaining hostages.

Last year, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had asked the state’s legal aid team to help out the two men as they had already served life terms in Pakistan, reported the Hindustan Times. “While the hijacking was condemnable, any attempt to prosecute the two, who had already done life terms in Pakistan for the same crime, will amount to a serious travesty of justice,” Singh had said in a statement.