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Saini, ’84 Plane hijacker, deported to India

January 27, 2010 | By

Parminder Singh Saini.

Parminder Singh Saini.

Ludhiana/ Toronto (January 27, 2010): News has arrived from Toronoto that a convicted hijacker, Parminder Singh Saini, who came to Canada 15 years ago under a false identity was deported Tuesday morning. The Canadian government had been trying to deport Parminder Singh Saini since shortly after he arrived in the country in 1995 using a fake Afghan passport.

He had been fighting his deportation in the Federal Court of Canada, but after the case was dismissed on Monday, the Canada Border Services Agency acted sharply.

Saini was escorted by CBSA officers to the airport and was boarded a plane in Toronto on Tuesday morning to return to India.

A former member of the militant All India Sikh Student Federation, Saini hijacked an Air India passenger flight from Srinigar, India to Lahore, Pakistan in 1984 to protest against storming of Sri Darbar Shaib, a holiest Sikh Shrine. Thousands of devotees were killed by Indian troops in this armed attack, on 3-6 June, 1984.

Saini had surrender to Pakistan authorities after 17 hours long hijacking drama and was convicted and sentenced to death after trial. But he was released after serving 10 years. He fled to Canada, claiming to be Balbir Singh, and was granted refugee status.

While awaiting his fate, Saini, 46, obtained a law degree from the University of Windsor. Last week, the Law Society of Upper Canada ruled he was ineligible to practise law because his involvement in hijacking activities.

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