Washington: A day after a Chandigarh court ordered Balwant Singh Rajoana, the death row convict in the 1995 assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh, to be hanged, over 5,000 Canadian Sikhs on Wednesday gathered at Parliament Hill in Ottawa to show solidarity with Rajoana.

The Kesari Nishan Rally was held on Wednesday to implore Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to leverage Canada's position in the world and its relationship with India to seek a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in India.

The rally was organized by community groups- Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), Ontario Gurudwara and Sikh Council (OGSC) and Ontario Gurudwara Committee (OGC).

A memorandum was also handed over to Members of Parliament asking the Government of Canada to intervene on behalf of Canadian Sikhs and press upon India to follow a 2008 UN Resolution and abolish the death penalty.

Several MPs also attended the rally and demanded India to abolish the death penalty.

"As Canadian Sikhs we are united in our opposition to India's ongoing use of the death penalty despite ongoing international pressure including UN resolution 62-149," SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said.

Following the Canadian tradition of respect for the sanctity of human life, they strongly oppose the use of the outdated and barbaric death penalty.

The execution of Rajoana, scheduled for Saturday, has since been stayed by the Indian government.

According to the court’s ruling, Rajoana was slated to be hanged on March 31 but the President on Wednesday stayed the order following a mercy petition by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and substantially forwarded it to the Union Home Ministry for further consideration.