SAD Chief To Meet PM, Amit Shah On Khalistan Terrorist's Death Sentence

SAD chief Sukhbir Badal's visit to Rajoana's family came nearly a month after Mr Shah had said that his death sentence would not be commuted.

SAD Chief To Meet PM, Amit Shah On Khalistan Terrorist's Death Sentence

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal on Friday visited the family on Friday.

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal on Friday met the family of Khalistani terrorist Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in 1995 assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh and said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah on the issue.

His visit to Rajoana's family came nearly a month after Mr Shah had said that his death sentence would not be commuted.

Mr Shah's remark made in the parliament last month during the question hour had triggered strong reaction from the SAD, a BJP ally, as Mr Badal said that the centre's decision "had caused pain and anguish to the Sikh community".

On Friday, he again said that Rajoana's death sentence "should be cancelled". "Not even a single parole has been allowed to him in past 25 years... This is injustice. His death sentence should be cancelled because it is a serious matter related to the Sikh community," he told reporters after meeting Balwant Singh Rajoana's sister Kamaldeep Kaur at her Ludhiana home. 

The SAD, after a "meeting of core committee members" on Friday has decided to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to discuss the issue, he added.

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"On the occasion of 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism, it was announced that death sentence of Rajoana has been commuted. Later, in parliament Amit Shah said nothing has been done on this issue," the 57-year-old said referring to Home Ministry's earlier decision in September to commute Rajoana's death sentence. 

In December, Amit Shah said "no pardon has been given" to the Khalistani terrorist when Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, who is also Beant Singh's grandson, questioned him about the death sentence in parliament. 

A special court in July 2007 had awarded the death sentence to Rajoana, along with another terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara, in the Beant Singh assassination case.

He was to be hanged on March 31, 2012. The execution,however, was stayed on March 28, 2012, by the UPA government at that time after the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committe or SGPC filed a mercy petition. Also, the SAD which was the ruling party in Punjab at that time, supported the SGPC. President's office then forwarded the petition to home ministry to take a final call and since then the petition was pending with the home ministry.