April 3, 2014 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar/ Chandigarh (April 03, 2014): The candidature of a former hijacker Bhola Pandey from Salempur constituency of UP by Congress for the fourth time in a row has given handle to Sikh group Dal Khalsa to draw comparison between the treatment meted out to him and Dal Khalsa leader Gajinder Singh, who hijacked an Indian Airline plane and who is on India’s most wanted list.
Dal Khalsa leader Kanwar Pal Singh has accused Indian leadership for adopting double standards and discriminative approach that resulted in deepening the alienation of struggling people’s from the Indian mainstream.
Referring to the case of former hijacker Bhola Pandey, who is Congress Lok Sabha candidate from UP’s Salempur segment for the fourth time, the organization’s spokesperson said while Congress has awarded Pandey for hijacking the Indian plane to seek the release of late Indira Gandhi, theirs group leader Gajinder Singh has been declared a “hardcore terrorist” for hijacking the Indian plane to seek the release of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale in 1981.
Notably, Pandey and his friend Devandar Nath hijacked IA flight no IC 410 on 20 Dec 1978 and were released shortly. Since then Pandey was being awarded with Congress tickets first for assembly and then for Lok Sabha. On the other Gajinder along with 4 Dal Khalsa activists hijacked IA flight from Delhi to Srinagar on 29 September 1981 and landed in Lahore where they were caught in commando action by Pakistani forces.
Drawing parallels between both the cases, he said the Indian justice system has failed the Sikhs. He said since 1978 Pandey is enjoying the state’s privilege while Gajinder Singh served 14 years detention and is living in exile facing hardships since his release in Nov 1994.
He said both the cases had certain similarities. In both the cases, hijackers does not posses weapons, they did not harm any passengers and the hijacking act was to register the protest and seek the release of their respective leader. He further said the only difference was that Pandey did it for the sake of Indian Nationalist Hindu leader where as Gajinder Singh did for Sikh Nationalist leader. Pandey was loyal to Gandhi family while Gajinder Singh’s loyalty was towards Panth and Bhindrawale. And this difference turned out to be a big difference, he said.
“Pandey was perceived as “hero” and on the other hand Gajinder was declared most wanted “terrorist” by successive Indian governments. Even today his name figures in the list of most wanted persons. “This is the classic example that proves beyond doubt that India is not a secular country but Hindu Nation”. This discriminative approach of Congress leadership also proves that the country is not governed as per rule of law but by law of rulers.
Slamming the Indian state for violating the double jeopardy principle, he said, the present day Congress government was still seeking his extradition despite the fact that he has served 14 years behind the bars for hijacking.
However, Kanwar Pal clarified that their group patron Gajinder Singh has no regret, he has never sought pardon nor he would compromise on principles. He said Gajinder has dedicated his life for the goal of Sikh independence and would die for the same.
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