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Balwant Singh Rajoana berates Akalis for their bid to save him

Balwant Singh, in a letter to Akal Takht jathedra (head priest) reprimanded the Akalis and other Sikh leaders for seeking clemency for him.

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Balwant Singh Rajoana berates Akalis for their bid to save him
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Punjab is now caught in a peculiar Catch-22 situation. Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted in the former chief minister Beant Singh’s assassination case, has no hesitation in facing execution, but chief minister Parkash Singh Badal  SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar and other Sikh leaders demand that clemency be granted to him.

Balwant Singh, in a letter to Akal Takht jathedra (head priest) on Tuesday reprimanded the Akalis and other Sikh leaders for seeking clemency for him. He castigated the Akali leaders for “letting the Sikhs down”, almost at the same time when deputy CM Sukhbir Badal left for Delhi to plead with the President and the PM for some reprieve for him.

As the additional and sessions judge court in Chandigarh on Tuesday turned down objections raised by the Patiala jail superintendent and returned the warrants for hanging of Rajoana on March 31, tension mounted in Punjab. More than 10,000 security personnel were put on high alert to prevent any untoward incident.

This is the third time that the Chandigarh court has ordered the hanging after the Patiala jail superintendent returned the warrants twice.

The superintendent had submitted the warrant back in the court on Monday saying it was legally not tenable to hang Rajoana because the crime had taken place in Chandigarh and that appeals of two other convicts in the case, Lakhwinder Singh and Jagtar Hawara, had been pending in the Supreme Court.

In his letter to the Akal Takht, Balwant Singh said “there was no need for anyone to seek clemency for me.”  He said, “I have fought for my rights all through my life. I do not want to give away my principles for anyone.”

“Akalis are trying to secure sympathy for me...  But history would never forgive them for their failure to secure justice for Sikhs,” Rajoana said.

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