Chandigarh, December 8
Death row inmate Balwant Singh Rajoana on Friday ended his hunger strike after a delegation led by Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Raghbir Singh met him in the Patiala jail where he is lodged.
Rajoana was convicted in connection with the 1995 assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.
Rajoana had on Tuesday begun a hunger strike inside the Patiala Central Jail to press the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to withdraw the mercy petition it had filed on his behalf.
The SGPC had filed the mercy petition with the President in 2012.
Akal Takht, supreme temporal body of the Sikhs, had on Wednesday asked Rajoana to end his hunger strike.
SGPC chief Harjinder Singh Dhami in Patiala told reporters that Rajoana had ended his indefinite fast by sipping the water the delegation brought from the sarovar (holy pond) of Golden Temple in Amritsar.
Akal Takht had recently said that if the Centre does not commute Rajoana’s death sentence by December 31 this year, then the SGPC should review its decision on mercy petition, considering Rajoana request which he has expressed in several letters to it.
“We want the Centre to take a decision on this soon,” said Dhami.
Akal Takht has formed a five-member panel led by the SGPC chief to ensure that Centre implements its commutation request.
The SGPC had earlier asked Rajoana not to go on hunger strike.
The apex religious body of Sikhs has been seeking the release of several Sikh prisoners including Rajoana and Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, a 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict.
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