Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beant Singh assassination: Babbar Khalsa International activist to be hanged till death on March 31

Ajay Sura, TNN Mar 14, 2012, 02.45AM IST

CHANDIGARH: March 31 has been fixed for the hanging of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) activist, Balwant Singh Rajoana, who is a convict in the assassination of former chief minister of Punjab, Beant Singh. Rajoana will be hanged till death inside the Central Jail, Patiala.

The warrant of death sentence of Rajoana, who is in solitary confinement in Patiala jail, was issued recently by additional district and sessions judge, Chandigarh, Shalini Nagpal. The orders will be sent to the Patiala jail for execution.

A special CBI court held inside Chandigarh's Burail jail had awarded death sentence to Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara on August 1, 2007. Three other accused -- Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Shamsher Singh -- were sentenced to life imprisonment for hatching the conspiracy to kill Beant Singh. The Punjab and Haryana high court had commuted the death sentence of Hawara to life sentence in October 2010. Rajoana had refused to appeal against the death sentence and it was also confirmed by the high court.

Even on October 1, 2010, Rajoana, who has also served as constable with the Punjab Police, had made a statement before Justice Mehtab Singh Gill of the high court that his hanging should be executed at the earliest possible.

Rajoana will be the first person to be hanged to death after Dhananjoy Chatterjee of Kolkata in August 2004. Dhananjoy was sentenced to death for raping and murdering Hetal Parekh in her house in Bhowanipore on March 5, 1990.

When contacted deputy superintendent, Patiala jail, Rajan Kapoor said he has heard about the execution orders but refused to give details about the preparations in jail for Rajoana's hanging.

Reacting to the development, general secretary, Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI), Navkiran Singh, said that it was Rajoana's wish. If he wishes to die that should be honoured. Singh, however, added that at the international level, India has very few number of cases of capital punishment and that should be maintained.

Source: [accessed on 15th March 2012]

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