Tuesday, December 25, 2018

SAD, SGPC delegation meets union home minister, gets assurance of early decision on Rajoana’s clemency petition (Punjab)

TNN | Jul 18, 2018, 08.03 PM IST
Manish Sirhindi

PATIALA: A delegation of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Wednesday met union home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi, seeking an early decision in the clemency petition of Beant Singh assassin, Balwant Singh Rajoana. The Union Minister gave a patient hearing to the delegation and assured them that he would soon beckon all reports related to Rajoana's case and would have the matter expedited. The delegation comprising of SAD General Secretary and Rajya Sabha member Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Member of Parliament from Anandpur Sahib Prem Singh Chandumajra, MP Balwinder Singh Bhunder and former MP Tarlochan Singh along with SGOC president Gobind Singh Longowal met the union home minister. Speaking to the TOI over the phone from Delhi, Prem Singh Chandumajra said they have sought an early decision on the SGPC’s petition for commuting of Rajoana's death sentence to life imprisonment. 

Balwant Singh Rajaona
He said in March 2012 when Rajoana was to be hanged inside the Patiala central jail, the situation in Punjab had become quite tense. There were intelligence reports that hanging Rajoana could lead to law and order situation in the state following which the SGPC filed the clemency petition with the President of India and SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal met the union government and got his execution stayed just two days ahead of the scheduled hanging. Chandumajra said in case Rajoana is again put on the death row after the dismissal of his clemency petition, a similar situation can arise in the state, which the SAD did not want to happen. Reacting to the statement given by Congress MP from Ludhiana Ravneet Bittu, who is also the grandson of former chief minister Beant Singh, Chandumajra said when his party president Sonia Gandhi has forgiven the killers of Rajiv Gandhi, Bittu should also follow the suite. Replying to Bittu's comment that SAD was supporting a separatist, the Akali MP asserted by forgiving killers of former Prime Minister, has the Gandhi family also become the supporters of separatists. 

He said the SAD failed to understand that when the family of former chief minister Beant Singh has long ago forgiven Rajoana, why the young MP was still fostering hard feelings against him. Meanwhile, he said, a delegation of SGPC would soon meet Balwant Singh Rajoana inside the Patiala central jail and inform him about the stand taken by the union home minister in this regard, persuading him to end his indefinite fast. After the SGPC had moved the clemency petition in 2012 on behalf of Rajoana, the matter was referred to the home ministry for feedback and since then the matter has remained pending since then. The final decision in this regard will be taken by the President of India on the basis of the recommendations to be made by the union home minister.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/sad-sgpc-delegation-meets-union-home-minister-gets-assurance-of-early-decision-on-rajoanas-clemency-petition/articleshowprint/65042663.cms (Accessed 25 December 2018)

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