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I've Talked To A Hijacker Once

Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:57 pm

Hello dear a.nutters,

There is only one public employee in Basel, Switzerland, who wears a turban.

As a now 59 years old Sikh, Dalip Khalsa Singh, from India, fled to Switzerland in 1995, after serving a prison sentence for hijacking an airliner in the July 1984, when Sikhs demanded independence from India. Together with other students, they hijacked an Air India A300 with 264 passengers and crew aboard to Lahore (Pakistan). He was sentenced to death. Several of his accomplices were executed, but after being pardoned by Pakistan's Premier Benazir Bhutto, Singh went to Switzerland, fearing the Indian justice, and to never see his family again.

He lived and worked here in BSL, cleaning roads, sidewalks and public places, until 2008, when the authorities revoked his permit, saying he didn't deserve his temporary refugee status. Only then it was revealed that he had hijacked an aircraft 24 years ago. But by then, the man with the orange turban and his orange work clothes had turned into a somebody who would be missed by the population of Basel.

A huge wave of support began, and nobody wanted to see the friendly man go back to India, and in 2010, the authorities granted him a permanent staying permit, and he continues to work for the city cleaning service. After 17 years of separation, his wife got a permit to visit him for three months. Technically, he and his wife are still married, but as the documents can not be retrieved in India, Singh can neither prove being married, or being not married, and so the courts try to find a solution for a marriage in Switzerland.

About the hijacking: (German) (Google translation) (German) (Google translation)


[Edited 2013-01-20 14:59:35]
Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.

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