Akal Takht to confer ‘Panth Sewak’ award on wanted Dal Khalsa founder

Gajinder Singh, who led his aides in hijacking an Indian Airlines plane in 1981, is one of the most wanted persons on Union home ministry’s list
AMRITSAR, Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, Amritsar
UPDATED ON AUG 30, 2020 03:08 AM IST

The Akal Takht has decided to confer the ‘Panth Sewak’ award upon Dal Khalsa founder Gajinder Singh, who led his aides in hijacking an Indian Airlines plane to Lahore in 1981 and is one of the “most wanted persons on the Union home ministry’s list.

Gajinder’s name is on the list of 11 Sikhs the highest Sikh temporal seat has finalised for various awards. The list has not been announced officially. The decision was taken during a meeting of the Sikh clergy on August 24, it is learnt.

“The award is being given to Gajinder Singh to hail his work and sacrifices for the community,” said an Akal Takht secretariat employee.

The Akal Takht acting jathedar, however, was not available for comments.

Currently living in Pakistan, Gajinder spent 14 years in a prison of the neighbouring country in the case of plane hijacking that was done for the release of militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. After a terror attack on Indian Parliament in 2001, the union home ministry had shared a list with Pakistan to extradite 20 persons, including Gajinder.

Besides, former Damdami Taksal head late Sant Giani Gurbachan Singh Bhindranwale will be given the ‘Panth Rattan’ award.

Slain religious figure Baba Charan Singh Bir Sahib, a fake encounter victim, will be given the title of ‘Qaumi Shaheed’. In January this year, a special CBI court sentenced six officials of Punjab Police to rigorous imprisonment in the 28-year-old case of the encounter killing of Baba Charan Singh and five of his relatives.

The other awards to be given are ‘Gurmat Martand’ (late Giani Balwant Singh Kotha Guru); ‘Shiromani Gurmat Parcharak’ (Giani Mewa Singh); ‘Bhai Mardana Jee Yadgari’ (Prof Gurnam Singh, former head of the gurmat sangeet department, Punjabi University); ‘Quami Chintak’ (Sikh scholar Harsimran Singh), ‘Panth Sewak’ to Harinder Singh Khalsa, ‘Bhai Gurdas Jee Yadgari’ to Prof Darshan Singh, former head of department of religious studies, Punjabi University), ‘Shiromani Sewak’ (Gurcharan Singh Mukatsari) and ‘Vidya Martand’ (Baba Iqbal Singh Barhu Sahib).

The Akal Takht jathedar is yet to finalise the day of giving away of these awards.

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