Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Centre stays hanging of BS Rajoana

The hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana, assassin of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh was on Wednesday stayed by the Centre following a mercy petition. 

Sources in the government said that the hanging, which was scheduled to be carried out on March 31, has been stayed following a petition filed by SGPC, the Sikh religious body.
The sources said the decision to keep the hanging in abeyance was taken since a petition was filed in line with the guidelines followed in such cases.
The scheduled hanging of Rajoana had got the politics of Punjab in a turmoil with the ruling Akali Dal campaigning against his execution while its coalition partner BJP disfavouring such a course.
The state Congress leaders at a personal level had been favouring clemency.
Rajoana, a police constable and a close friend of another assassin Dilawar Singh Babbar, was the second human bomb to be used in case the first one failed to kill Beant Singh on August 31, 1995.
Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal today called on President Pratibha Patil and handed over a mercy petition on behalf of Punjab government seeking clemency for Rajoana.
The President's office later sent his petition to the Union Home Ministry, which will also be decided in due course of time.
Under normal circumstances, the petition would be sent to the Law Minsitry and Punjab government for comments after which it would be forwarded to the President with a view of the Home Ministry.
The President's office already has 18 mercy petitions to decide on.

Rojana row: Bandh cripples life in PunjabNormal life was crippled across Punjab which witnessed sporadic violence during the day-long bandh on Wednesday to protest the scheduled hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in the Beant Singh assassination case.
Most business establishments were shut and road and rail traffic was disrupted at many places.
Areas around the Golden Temple, the main sacred place of Sikhs, were clogged with proteseters carrying saffron flags.
Board examinations, slated for Wednesday, were postponed with offices, private institutions, colleges and schools reporting thin attendance.
The protesters stopped New Delhi Amritsar Shan-e-Punjab at Jalandhar and Mumbai-Jammu Swaraj express at a crossing in Hoshiarpur district for brief periods.
Police swung batons to disperse them and restore calm.

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