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Rajoana's hanging stays; Punjab celebrates mutely

Chandigarh, Thu, 29 Mar 2012 NI Wire

The scheduled execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a Babbar Khalsa terroist, who got capital punishment for killing erstwhile Chief Minister of Punjab Beant Singh on August 31, 1995, has been halted just before three days.

This stay of Rajoana's execution came after when Punjab Chief Minister and Akali Dal leader Prakash Singh Badal met to Indian President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil on Wednesday seeking clemency for Rajoana.

After the meeting, President directed to Union Home Ministry to stay his execution. The Union Minister then wrote a letter to State Government conveying the President's direction, official sources said.

The entire Sikh community are celebrating this stay, viewing it their victory. But in Punjab, government has warned to all Sikh groups for ‘victory' procession and implemented Section 144 of CrPC in the state in the move to ensure communal harmony in the state as most of the radical groups have made plan to celebrate it by calling victory procession.

The state Police has also arrested 20 leaders of some radical groups including Simranjit Singh Mann SAD (Amritsar) president, Baljit Singh Daduwal (Panthic sewa Lehar), Daljit Singh Bittu (president SAD (Panch Pardhani)), Harpal Singh Cheema (general Secretary SAD (Panch Pardhani), and Jaswinder Singh Balliewal (SAD (Delhi) state president).

However, the Police said that these leaders have been arrested only for ensuring peace in the state.

In August 2007, a special CBI court awarded the death sentence to Rajoana, who was a police constable and top operative of terror outfit Babbar Khalsa International.

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