Badal to meet president to seek clemency for Rajoana
New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is expected to meet President Pratibha Patil to demand clemency for Balwant Singh Rajoana, a Babbar Khalsa International terrorist facing death sentence for the assassination of then chief minister Beant Singh.
Badal's party Shiromani Akali Dal had Sunday asked the state government to take all possible steps to secure clemency for Rajoana. Badal was expected to meet the president later Wednesday, a Punjab government official said.
Rajoana was awarded death sentence by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court July 2007 along with another terrorist, Jagtar Singh Hawara, in the Beant Singh assassination case.
Beant Singh (1992-95), who was largely credited with wiping out terrorism from Punjab by dealing with terrorists with an iron hand along with supercop K.P.S. Gill, was assassinated by a human bomb, Dilawar Singh, at the high security Punjab civil secretariat here Aug 31, 1995.
While Hawara was the mastermind of the assassination, Rajoana was the second human bomb to be used in case the first assassin failed to kill Beant Singh. Rajoana, during the entire 11-year trial of the assassination, had admitted that he alone was responsible for the killing of Beant Singh.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had October 2010 upheld the death sentence for Rajoana but changed the capital punishment given to Hawara to life imprisonment. Rajoana had refused to challenge the death sentence awarded to him.
While Bharatiya Janata Party, an ally of SAD, wants the law to take its own course in the matter, the family of Beant Singh has said that it will back steps taken by state government to maintain law and order in the state.
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