‘I tied the bomb on Dilawar’s body’: Beant’s assassin Balwant Singh Rajoana was remorseless : The Tribune India

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‘I tied the bomb on Dilawar’s body’: Beant’s assassin Balwant Singh Rajoana was remorseless

‘I tied the bomb on Dilawar’s body’: Beant’s assassin Balwant Singh Rajoana was remorseless

Balwant Singh Rajoana



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 3

As Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to commute the death sentence of former Chief Minister Beant Singh assassination case convict Balwant Singh Rajoana and asked the Centre to take a further decision on his mercy plea as and when it deemed necessary.

The confession

I tied the bomb on Dilawar’s body and I do not regret my involvement in the murder... Anguished over the Operation Blue Star and the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, we decided to kill Beant Singh. — Balwant Singh Rajoana

It was almost 28-year ago on the fateful evening of August 31, 1995, when Beant Singh was killed in a bomb blast at the Punjab and Haryana Civil Secretariat complex in Chandigarh. On the day of his assassination, constable Dilawar Singh Babbar of the Babbar Khalsa International acted as the suicide bomber. At the Secretariat, no one suspected anything as Dilawar approached the Chief Minister’s car in the police uniform with files in his hand. Rajoana was the back-up bomber.

A resident of Rajoana Kalan village in Ludhiana, Rajoana joined the Punjab Police as a constable in 1987. Lodged in Patiala Central Jail, he justified Beant’s assassination, blaming the CM for “extra-judicial” killings of Sikh youths. It was he who tied the bombs on Dilawar’s body.

In his judicial confession recorded under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code in 1996, Rajoana had stated, “I tied the bomb on Dilawar’s body with my own hands and I do not regret my involvement in the murder. I am proud of the sacrifice made by him and I bow my head before him in respect. Anguished over the Operation Blue Star and the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, we decided to kill Beant Singh.”

The Punjab Police arrested Rajoana in December 1995, and a special CBI court in Chandigarh awarded him the death penalty on July 27, 2007. He did not even engage a lawyer during the trial as he had expressed no repentance for this murder. In August 2009, he wrote to the Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice for his death penalty case to be considered separate from that of his co-accused, who had challenged the conviction by the trial court. His hanging was scheduled for March 31, 2012. But the SGPC filed a mercy petition before the President and the Union Home Ministry ordered a stay on his execution.

On the commemoration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the Centre in September 2019 decided to recommend cases of eight Sikh prisoners for special remission under Article 161 of the Constitution to the respective states. The Punjab Government also recommended processing the case of Rajoana for commuting his death sentence under Section 72 of the Constitution. In 2020, Rajoana filed a writ petition in the apex court, seeking directions for the Centre for the expeditious disposal of the case regarding death commutation.

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