Twenty-five years after a group of Sikh militants hijacked an Indian plane, the Delhi Police on Tuesday informed a city court that the accused were never chargesheeted in India. The police was responding to a court order that sought details about the case.
On August 29, 1981, five militants hijacked the Indian Airlines Flight No IC-423, scheduled to fly from Delhi to Srinagar, and took it to Lahore. They claimed to be activists fighting for the cause of Khalistan.
In November 2005 Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kamini Lau had written to the Police Commissioner, KK Paul to find out if the police in India ever filed a chargesheet against the accused. She had also asked Paul to find out if the police had ever approached the Indian government for sanctioning of offences pertaining to waging war against India against the accused.
The police in their reply on January 10 informed the court that despite several attempts they had failed to locate the case files. The police also said that they had failed to trace the accused, as the register that maintains the record of proclaimed offenders did not mention the accused. Also, the two ACPs, BK Tanwar and RP Kochar, who were investigating the case have now expired, says the report. As per the FIR registered against the accused at Palam police station, they had raised slogans of “Khalistan Zindabad” and “Indian government Murdabad” at the Lahore airport.
None of accused, however, ever faced a trial in India. Soon after an emergency landing in Lahore, the Pakistan government arrested the five accused. They were sentenced to life imprisonment by a Lahore court.