London — The trial of 14 hijackers of Indian Airlines planes will commence on March 15 in a special court in Lahore, a Pakistani daily published here reported on Monday.

The court, to be headed by the district sessions judge, will hold its sittings in Kot Lakhpat jail. According to a report from Lahore in Watan which said that the staff for the special court was being deputed now.

“Challans’’ (prosecution cases) for the hijackers had been completed and all files relating to them had been sent to the Home Department of the Punjab Provincial Government. A highlevel meeting of officials has discussed arrangements for the trial.

The confessional statements of the hijackers, their statements at Lahore airport where the hijacked planes were taken, and evidence of eye witnesses are all ready, the newspaper said.

The hijackers who will face the trial include Gajender Singh, Shyam Singh, Jasbir Singh, Jetinder Pal Singh, Parminder Singh, Gurdeep Singh Pardesi, Harbachan Singh, Devinder Singh, Raminder Singh and Harminder Singh.

Meanwhile, Sikh separatists in Britain are planning to go ahead with their decision to send a team of “legal experts’’ to Pakistan to ‘make proper arrangements’’ for the defense of the for the defense ci the hijackers.

The Indian Government has conveyed its concern to Islamabad at the decision of Sikh separatists to send so-called legal experts to Pakistan with the obvious intention to give a political color to the trial. However, this does not appear to have made any difference to the plans of the separatists.

Dr. Jaghit Singh Chauhan, the President Khalistan,” said on Monday that four ‘‘experts’’ were scheduled to go from here to Pakistan on February 22. He declined to give their names in advance but said the group would include three Sikhs and a Briton.

The four would constitute the ‘advance team,” and would go to Pakistan with the intention of offering all assistance to the hijackers whom Dr. Chauhan describes as “citizens of Khalistan.” More ‘‘legal experts’’ would go when the trial is about to commence, Dr. Chauhan said.

Dr. Chauhan said those scores of Pakistani lawyers and some bar councils had offered to provide free legal assistance to the hijackers.



Article extracted from this publication >>  March 8, 1985