Nomination of an alleged hijacker Bhola Pandey from Salempur constituency of Uttar Pradesh by the Congress for the fourth time in a row has prompted the Dal Khalsa to draw comparison between the treatment meted out to him and Gajinder Singh, a Dal Khalsa leader, who hijacked an Indian Airline plane and is now on the most wanted list.
In a statement, party leader Kanwar Pal Singh said while the Congress had awarded Pandey for allegedly hijacking the Indian plane to seek the release of late Indira Gandhi, Gajinder Singh had been declared a "hardcore terrorist" for hijacking the Indian plane to seek the release of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale in 1981.
Pandey and his friend Devandar Nath were accused of hijacking an IA flight in December 1978 and were released shortly. Thereafter, Pandey has been contesting elections on the Congress ticket.
Drawing parallels between the two cases, Kanwar Pal said the Indian justice system had always failed the Sikhs. "Pandey has been awarded for the same crime for which Gajinder Singh served 14-year detention and is living in exile since November 1994", he alleged while adding that the only difference between the two was that Pandey was loyal to the Gandhi family while Gajinder Singh's loyalty was towards the Sikh 'panth' and Bhindrawale.
"Pandey was perceived as hero whereas Gajinder Singh was branded a 'most wanted terrorist' by successive Indian governments. Even today his name figures in the list of most wanted persons. It proves that India is not a secular country but a Hindu Nation", Kanwarpal charged.
He regretted that the Congress-led central government was still seeking Gajinder's extradition.