Akalis condemn Centre for 'U-turn' on Balwant Singh Rajoana's release : The Tribune India

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Akalis condemn Centre for 'U-turn' on Balwant Singh Rajoana's release

Responsibility of Centre to release convict soon, says SGPC chief

Akalis condemn Centre for  'U-turn' on Balwant Singh Rajoana's release

Harjinder Singh Dhami, SGPC chief



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh/Amritsar, May 3

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today condemned the Union Government for allegedly taking a U-turn on its avowed stand on the release of Balwant Singh Rajoana in the Supreme Court even as it asserted the BJP was adopting double standards on this issue.

It also asserted that there seemed to be a tacit understanding between the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which was now coming in the way of release of the ‘Bandi Singhs’.

In a statement in Chandigarh following the rejection of a plea seeking disposal of a mercy petition filed on his behalf as well as implementation of the Central proposal commuting his death sentence to life, senior SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said, “The Centre has hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community. It first undertook to commute the death sentence of Rajoana to life in 2019 in the presence of Sri Guru Granth Sahib on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji and then went back on its word by refusing to decide on the mercy petition filed on Rajoana’s behalf by the SGPC in March 2012.”

Asking the BJP to make its stand clear on the issue, Majithia said, “Former Punjab BJP in-charge Gajendra Shekhawat had signed a form seeking the release of Rajoana while paying his obeisance at Takht Sri Damdama Sahib. However, his party is coming in the way of the detainee’s release in the Supreme Court which is also an insult to the Takht”.

In Amritsar, reacting to the Supreme Court’s ruling to leave decision on Rajoana to the discretion of Ministry of Home Affairs, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Harjinder Singh Dhami said the Centre should facilitate his release.

Dhami said the human rights of ‘Bandi Singhs’ (Sikh prisoners) were being violated and resentment was brewing among the Sikh community.

“This is a testing time for the BJP-led Central Government. Now, it’s the responsibility of the Centre to implement earlier notification and release Rajoana as soon as possible,” said Dhami.

He said the case of Rajoana should be a matter of concern for Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities. “It’s the responsibility of the National Commission for Minorities to protect the rights and interests of the minority communities. Thus, Lalpura is answerable,” he said.

Govt must keep its word: SGPC

This is a testing time for the BJP-led Central Government. Now, it’s the responsibility of the Centre to implement the earlier notification and release Rajoana as soon as possible. Human rights of ‘Bandi Singhs’ are being violated. — Harjinder Singh Dhami,SGPC chief

Justice being sought for killers

Justice is being sought for those who killed the innocent persons. Those killed were also Sikhs, including some baptised. — Ravneet Bittu, Congress MP

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#balwant singh rajoana #BJP #SGPC #shiromani akali dal #Sikhs #supreme court


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