Punjabi politicians dither, Rajoana dares state to hang him

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 25, 2013 22:10 hrs

Patiala: Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict on death row in connection with the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, has expressed his desire to be hanged.

Rajoana, a Babbar Khalsa International terrorist, has in a four-page open letter dared the system and said he has neither appealed for any mercy nor did he ask anyone to do that for him.

In the past also, Rajoana had refused to appeal against his death sentence.

In the letter, written from Patiala jail recently, he has reasserted his readiness to go to the gallows.

Rajoana sent the letter through his sister.

The letter puts the ruling SAD in a fix as the party had lobbied with central government for commutation of the death sentence awarded to Rajoana.

Rajoana has said that after Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's execution, major political parties were asking one another to clear their position on his hanging.

"With this letter, I want to make my position clear once again that I am not ready to bow before the Congress. Neither I earlier pleaded for mercy nor will I do it in future. They can test my determination at any time," the letter stated.

Rajoana was a party to the assassination Beant Singh and sixteen others.

They were killed by a human bomb at Punjab civil secretariat on August 31, 1995.

Rajoana was sentenced to death in 2006.

Notably, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal had lobbied with central government to seek commutation of death sentence awarded to Rajoana.

Rajoana's hanging was scheduled to take place on March 31, 2012 but was postponed in wake of a review petition moved before President of India by SGPC and Badal Dal.

Rajoana's mercy petition is pending with the President.

Beant Singh is credited with fighting terrorism with an iron fist along with the then Punjab police chief KPS Gill.

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