Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is expected to make a statement in the state Assembly on Monday on the clemency demand for Balwant Singh Rajoana, who is facing death sentence for the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh. JPN/Bureau
Beant Singh , the former CM who was largely credited with wiping out terrorism from Punjab, was assassinated by a human bomb, Dilawar Singh, at the high security Punjab Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh on August 31, 1995. The mastermind of the assassination was Jagtar Singh Hawara. Rajoana was meant to be used as the second human bomb in case the first assassin failed to kill Beant Singh. Both Rajoana and Hawara were ordered death sentence by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special court in Chandigarh in July 2007.
In October 2010, the Punjab and Haryana High Court upheld death sentence for Rajoana but changed the capital punishment given to Hawara to life imprisonment. Rajoana has, however, refused to challenge the death sentence awarded to him.
He is scheduled to be hanged in Patiala central jail on March 31 this year.
The Chief Minister had called for an emergency core committee meeting on Sunday of his party, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), to discuss the issue.
The meeting was called after the Akal Takht, the highest Sikh temporal body, directed the Chief Minister to "immediately" meet President Pratibha Patil and take appropriate steps to secure the "unconditional release" of Rajoana. "My government has been taking advice from legal experts. All possible legal remedies will be initiated pertaining to Rajoana's case," Mr Badal told reporters in Chandigarh on Saturday.
At the emergency meeting which was chaired by party president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, party members expressed satisfaction over the decision of the state government not to implement the March 31 execution order issued by a Chandigarh court.
"The core committee fully endorsed the steps taken by the Punjab government in this regard so far. It took note of the fact that the warrants of execution against Rajoana had been returned since it was legally not possible to execute them," SAD spokesman said after the meeting.
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is expected to make a statement in the state Assembly on Monday on the clemency demand for Balwant Singh Rajoana, who is facing death sentence for the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.