Lahore — The trial of five Sikhs who had allegedly hijacked an Indian Airlines plane in 1981 to protest against the arrest of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and the sacrilege of Sikh holy scriptures opened here Monday. The five Sikh youngmen came to the court, escorted by the police, shouting pro-Khalistan and antiunion slogans.

Four eminent lawyers, including a former Law Minister of Pakistan have sought to appear on their behalf as defense councils. Others defending the Sikhs are Barrister Haider Ali (Lahore), S. Jaswant Singh Thekedar (London) and S. Balbir Singh (Canada).

Indian Prime Minister has, in a statement, hoped that the Pakistan Government would not permit the trial to be used for antiIndian propaganda. He had earlier welcomed Pakistan government’s decision to try the alleged hijackers. Pakistan had refused to hand them over to the Indian authorities when demanded by India. Pakistan appears to. Be anxious to please India now.

Article extracted from this publication >> March 22, 1985