BADAL TO LEAD SAD DELEGATION TO PREZ TO SEEK BHAI RAJOANA’S RELEASE
Chandigarh (Gurpreet) – SAD president Sardar Sukhbir Singh Badal will lead a delegation of senior party leaders to the president of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind to push for the immediate release of Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana as a logical follow up of the earlier decision announced by the Government of India to commute the latter’s death sentence to life term.
A formal request has been sent to the president for an immediate audience. Mr Badal’s decision is consequent upon the developments in Bhai Rajoana’s case including the latest Supreme Court notice to the Government of India. The SAD president wants Bhai Rajoana to be released immediately as “the Government of India stands publicly committed to commuting his death sentence to a life term and as he has already spent in jail more than three times the number of years which a normal lifer spends there. Bhai Rajoana has been in jail since ”
It may be recalled that the SAD-BJP government headed by Sardar Parkash Singh Badal had refused to execute an order to hang Bhai Rajoana. Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal was the Deputy CM and in charge of Home affairs at that time.
Mr Badal had demanded the immediate release of Bhai Rajoana yesterday. Predictably, some Congress leaders today came out to oppose the demand.
Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal however refused to join the issue with Ravneet Singh Bittu’s criticism of his statement of yesterday. “ I can only pray to the Almighty to grant to Ravneet Singh Bittu the strength to rise above the personal sentiment and stand by his community on a matter of principle. I can say a lot but I do not want to lower the dignity of the Sikh quom’s demand for justice especially Bhai Rajoana has already suffered far more than a life term in jail.,“ said Mr Badal responding to Ravneet Singh Bittu ‘personalised’ criticism of Bhai Rajoana’s demand. Without commenting on the personal nature of Bittu’s remarks, Mr Badal wondered if the Congress leader also felt the same way about thousands of innocents rendered orphans or widows by Congress goons in the Delhi massacre and about parents whose young children were brutally eliminated in the wave of state repression in Punjab.”
In a formal communication to the President of India seeking an audience with the Akali delegation, Mr Badal has reminded the President of the commitment of the Modi government to commute Bhai Rajoana’s death penalty to a life sentence The commitment had come on the eve of Shri Guru Nanak Devji’s 550th Parkash Utsav. “Not honouring that commitment would amount to showing disrespect to the sacred event pertaining to the founder of the Sikh religion.”
The government’s decision to commute the death sentence of Bhai Rajoana and change it into a life term had come at the end of long and sustained campaign by the Shiromani Akali Dal including the efforts of the SAD-BJP government headed by Sardar Parkash Singh Badal. The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee where the SAD holds a massive majority, had passed a resolution urging the Government of India to waive the death penalty against Bhai Rajoana. The SAD president along with the then SGPC chief had also called on the President of India to seek commutation of death penalty against Bhai Rajoana.
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