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Updated: March 29, 2012 11:37 IST

Centre stays execution of Rajoana

Vinay Kumar
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Members of Sikh organisations protest in Chandigarh on Wednesday against the death sentence awarded to Balwant Singh Rajoana. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar
Members of Sikh organisations protest in Chandigarh on Wednesday against the death sentence awarded to Balwant Singh Rajoana. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

Three days before his scheduled execution in connection with killing of the former Punjab Chief Minister, Beant Singh, on August 31, 1995, Balwant Singh Rajoana got relief on Wednesday, with the Union government staying the capital punishment.

The Union Home Ministry, in a letter to the State Government, stated that the execution of 44-year-old Rajoana has been stayed.

The decision came after Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal met President Pratibha Patil and submitted a mercy petition. The President's office then sent it to the Ministry, official sources said.

Mr. Badal mounted last-minute efforts to get relief for Rajoana as the ‘Singh Sahiban' (clergy) of the Akal Takhat decreed that the Chief Minister meet the President and seek clemency.

The petition was made on behalf of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and the State government.

In August 2007, a special CBI court awarded the death sentence to Rajoana, who was a police constable and top operative of terror outfit Babbar Khalsa International, and Jagtar Singh Hawara.

According to the Indian Constitution, what makes a terrorist? Those who fight until their last breath for clean water, fertile land, justice and the right to live as a religion. Who are the real terrorists?? What is in the news now? Sajjan Kumar responsible for the statement 'no Sikh should live 'during those atrocities in 1984. All those comments against Bhai Balwant Singh, do those people actually live in a bubble? I suggest to read up on history, not just the side you want to read up on, and face the facts. Sikhs were brutally targeted for just being alive.

from:  Raj
Posted on: Apr 25, 2012 at 15:07 IST

Having read all the above comments, I am actually sickened by the
ignorance of so called educated people. You call for the execution of
a man who has already spent 17 years of his life wilting away in a
prison, for the 'intention' of assassinating a 'progressive' CM of
Punjab. The CM you speak so highly of is a terrorist, who committed
heinous crimes against innocent Sikhs in Punjab. Sikhs have been
persecuted in India since and before 1984, and the injustices of 1984
have still not been addressed, with murderers roaming freely in
government positions. As citizens of India you should all be ashamed
of yourselves, for letting such injustices go by unnoticed, and for
the ignorance you live with. No-one has actually questioned why did
this young man feel the need to assassinate a government official? The
answer is simple, India is a corrupt democracy; the government would
not listen to the common peoples plight, and a stand needed to be
taken. The question is will India take notice now?

from:  sim
Posted on: Mar 30, 2012 at 20:15 IST

This is unrepentant mass murderer. He personally put on bomb vest on the killer and on himself. He is a mass murderer period.

This is disgusting and vile attempt to deny justice to the victims. Not a thought has be given to victims. Only Beant Singh's name is mentioned. What about the other 16? Don't they deserve any mention? I can only guess that we would rather hid the victims so we don't have to feel guilty.

The fact that this man ( I can't call him human) is unrepentant and his supporters are the kind where they celebrate murderers in public is a fact. In Canada - BC Vancouver area- They have parades where the Khalistanis celebrate in parades on public roads - the murderers involved in Beant Singh , Gen Vaidhya, Indira Gandhi and Air India Kanishka. Yes - They celebrate the murderers responsible for Air India flight bombing publicly without any fear. This is kind of people Rajaona associates with. These are people to who the Govt of India has waived a white flag and surrendered.

from:  Hemant
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 17:34 IST

It is such a shame that you call that man a criminal who brought
justice to a murderer, the so called Chief Minister who used his
political powers to murder and rape hundreds of men, women and
children. So in your eyes Beant Singh is the victim, but think about
the innocent people who he killed, would you still think of him as a
victim. Balwant Singh is nothing short of the people like Bhagat Singh
who we look up to today. If the so called government does not bring
justice to its people, I think we all have the right to stand up to
protect our communities. So before you label Balwant Singh as the
culprit, think again!! He is nothing less than a 'Hero,' who had the
guts to do something where as all of you just succumb to the
corruption we face in our daily lives.

from:  Jess
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 17:22 IST

Sardar balwant singh has did a exellant job by killing beant singh.Risponsible of murdering innocent young boys of punjab.I feel proud of him as sikh.If somebody talks about justice then i will rimind you that nobody was bought to justice for 1984 genocide aginst siks.

from:  MANGAL
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 16:12 IST

Without knowing the truth you can't judge someone. When Jagdish tylter who actually showed cruelty with sikh community is free now then why the capital punishment for Balwant. He didn't kill innocent people. Also, when there is no capital punishment for Kasab then why for Balwant.

from:  Simar
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 13:38 IST

It feel good, people outside punjab are looking into what is happening here. Thanks !!. I will be really surprised if the everyone here knows what punjabis have suffered in the past (Beant Singh, was responsible for killing of thousands & no debate on this).

I am against the politics of BANDH, showing swords and raising anti India slogans. But i can feel the feeling of masses (read as law abiding citizens of punjab) and yes punjabis are very emotional.

As a law abiding citizen of this nation and being a sikh, i must say he should not be hanged. It is not wise to compare - but he is second after Bhagat Singh ji (to best of my knowledge) to not to seek mercy from govt . It is not illegal- it is as per the LAW OF THE LAND. Read "Why Balwant Singh Rajoana shouldn't be hanged" Yug Mohit Chaudhry 29/3/2012.

No one violated it. Above all he is a not a kind of personality to be hanged. No one get a Martyr (living) status without any cause. I salute this man of principles.

from:  Mandeep Singh
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 12:40 IST

Sardar Balwant Singh Killed punjab chief minister Beant becuase Beant was similar to saddam hussain, in order to bring peace in punjab after the turmoil of 1984 onwards, Beant killed 1000's of Naujawan(young ppl) in fake encounters or just tag them as terrorists. Beant along with punjab police cheif KPS Gill killed youth of punjab in 1990's,and we all know, once we destroy the Younth, there will be no revolution. As a result in 1995 Beant was blown with a human bomb by Sardar Jagtar singh hawara(Sardar Balwant singh Rajoana was the back up). Please do not compare Sardar Balwant singh with Afzal Guru or Kasab, they killed innocent hundustanis ......whereas Sardar Balwant singh killed Punjab CM Beant(mass murderer) as Sardar Bhagat singh had killed General Dawyer for Jalayanwala Bagh Massacre and Lala Lajpat Rai's Death.

from:  Suhail
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:10 IST

One question for people arguing about law, judiciary administration etc. What is better - following the path of law or following the path of morality? e.g. Whatever people like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Udham Singh did was illegal according to then prevailing law. But definitely was moral. BTW, there wasn't much difference in the deeds of General Dyer or Beant Singh. Don't you feel inappropriate that the mastermind is facing lifer but a backup facing death? When mastermind's sentence was commuted to life, Rajoana's should have been too. The issue wouldn't have come to such limelight.

from:  singh
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 11:05 IST

I think the spineless GOI should resign if they can't take firm
decisions for the country, every time bowing down to pressure from
different regions. This is the third such instance. If this continues
then soon they will be petitioning SC/ President to pardon Kasab for the
sake of improving relations with Pakistan.

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:24 IST

It is not about killing anyone and get pardoned. If you go into the
depth of this.. Capital punishment (hanging, electrocute, beaheading
etc) has been in the society from several hundreds of years. Usually
capital punishment is given to the people who can be dangerous to the
society as a whole. Like for example raping an 85 year old woman( the
true story of Hisar, Haryana court) these kind of crimes are danger to
the society and it is quite genuine reason to hang the culprit. But
for rajoana case it is different. He is not any danger to the society.
More over our constitution also has a reserve of clemency. So it is
nothing to do with politics. it is all constitution.

from:  Ampaal
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 10:15 IST

Recently I read Sikh History by Kushwant Singh (volume I). Book is basically more about Punjab history from time period 1469-1849. Based upon circumstances in state for past 30 years, I don't see any difference between present time period and 1469-1849. And this live example of same.

from:  Sahil Garg
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 09:21 IST

To hang a guilty does not sound proper. When a man makes mistake whatsoever horrible, he or she should be allowed to purify himself as each and every human being commits a crime under the wrong impressions or wrong thinking. But a day comes in his life when he realizes of his mistake and he repents. We, as the citizens of a democracy, should be open to give mercy if the person is willing to repent for his mistake sincerely.

from:  Himmat Patel
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 08:02 IST

If we are to abolish the death penalty all together, this maybe a
fitting change. But as long as it is legal practice, it is high time
the government stopped being spineless. A constitutional head was assassinated and the criminals must be punished in accordance with the
law. The congress party is filled sycophants with double standards .. When Indira Gandhi was assassinated, they allowed carnage of the entire sikh community. But now they play to the music.
The law is the law.. it must be upheld.. If death penalty is unacceptable change the law. But whatever the law is it must be upheld. Mercy is to awarded by the courts, not by a bunch a of politicians.

from:  Govind Diwakar
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 06:19 IST

Are the Punjab CM and the Government of India mad? Leave aside all common sense,
how can they blatantly interfere with the administration of justice? All traitors should be punished - this sort of thing reminds one of the encouragement to Bhindranwale. It seems these people will never learn.

from:  Ajay
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 03:58 IST

I strongly oppose death penalty. It should be turned into jail term till
75 or 80 or years, but not death penalty.

from:  Murali Swamy
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 03:32 IST

Mr. Garg, the so-called progressive CM of Punjab illegally executed thousands of
innocent people simply because they looked like Sikhs during the 1990s. And in fact,
it is the common people of Punjab you see in the photographs who are protesting
the death penalty for Rajoana. Finally, so many people who have been accused of
perpetrating human rights abuses against millions of minorities in India including
Sikhs, Christians and Muslims have been allowed to go scott-free over the last
twenty five years, and you're complaining that someone who put a stop to state-
sanctioned terrorism by assassinating the official in charge is being shown mercy?

from:  Amrit
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 03:14 IST

when there are criminals like kasab and afjal guru who have been proved
guilty of killing several innocents and are still being feed by the
honest taxpayers' money and have yet not been hanged then y a person who
killed a criminal is being hanged who had no bad intention ... though
any way he is guilty of murder of a person as this was not the right way
to teach lesson to a criminal, so he can be atmost punished with the
life imprisonment y death???

from:  Rimpi Choudhary
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 02:52 IST

This is a clear cut victory for extremist elements in Punjab and will go a long way to embolden terrorism. If this has been done for sake of peace, the price amounts to getting blackmailed.Being a Punjabi I reject this deal. It will make life miserable for moderate Sikhs as well as Hindus living in Punjab. The message is very clear to everyone- Do not stand-up for national integrity like late Honourable Chief Minister of Punjab, Beant Singh ji, stood, terrorists will make a horrible example out of you!! and they will get away with it. This is defeat of India and victory of anti-national elements. Govt has let the Nation down and set a wrong precedence.Clemeny is meant for those who are repentent and seek it. Peace was achieved at great cost and through eliminating terrorists, and not by prostrating in front of them. No one will give any credit to Govt for being lenient, but will say it was scared of Babbar Khalsa terrorists. Punjab is not far from the black day

from:  Sheetal
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 02:33 IST

Beant Singh was not a progressive Chief Minister. He was responsible for the death
of thousands of innocent people, including teenagers, old people and and women;
under the government terrorism. And I have a question for you, Abhishek and
Krishna, what do you know about Punjab? Pleaseread the history of Punjab before
making any further comments.

from:  Gagan Kooner
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 02:07 IST

What a shame? What is this Govt trying to prove by staying the execution
orders issued by the court? How could a Govt at the center kneel down
under the pressure of a State. By staying an execution order of a
terrorist who is responsible for killing a Chief Minister, a very wrong
signal is being sent to the general public. Come on and wake up before
the very existence of the judiciary is doubted.

from:  Naresh
Posted on: Mar 29, 2012 at 00:36 IST

I feel ashamed of a central government that can not execute a convict’s sentence. I feel ashamed of a state government that beg for the life of a convict who killed its own chief minister and 17 innocent people. I feel ashamed of a prosecutor who fears to execute the death sentence of a convict who killed 18 people.

from:  Manikandan O V
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 23:42 IST

Reading the comments below makes me wonder if there is actually a just and fair political system.Here in US (nd other countries) too Indian govt system has been labelled as corrupt as it is not fair to minorities. Kishori Lal who killed 3 Sikh in 1984 just got released after 3 years in prison and Rajoana who "was" to be used as a bomber "if" Dilawar Singh couldn't kill Beant Singh has been in jail for 17 years (and now ordered to be hanged) when the life imprisonment in India is 14 years. Where is the transparency in the system? And calling CM Beant Singh a progressive CM,he was the butcher of Punjab who ordered the killings of 50K Sikh youth on orders of Central Govt. I dont know how many more he would have killed if he was alive. No common non-Sikh man will have sympathy with Rajoana, but we who have lost our families will continue to support people who kill the tyrants. Sikh kill people who kill innocent people because killing innocent people is wrong.

from:  Rupinder Singh
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 23:27 IST

Death penalty should be abolished. Let him be sentenced for life. Please Don't open old wounds. Remember the CM was a terrorist for us as he had blood of thousands ok Sikhs, he was responsible for many problems. God help Punjab

from:  Bobby Chadha
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 22:52 IST

Why doesn't the government execute Ajmal Kasab who is responsible for
killing more than 100 innocent people. He's living a lavish life in a
special fully furnished so called jail. The government is spending
crores daily to take care of the terrorist. Where is the government
getting soo much money to spend crores on a him, from us obviously but
our military forces don't even have proper weapons.
Politicians who were responsible for the 1984 riots against sikhs are
walking free, but when a commom man commits a crime, the best way to
punish the person is to give death penalty. Hats off to our courts.

from:  Supreet
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 22:40 IST

Sardar Balwant Singh Killed punjab chief minister Beant becuase Beant was similar to saddam hussain, in order to bring peace in punjab after the turmoil of 1984 onwards, Beant killed 1000's of Naujawan(young ppl) in fake encounters or just tag them as terrorists. Beant along with punjab police cheif KPS Gill killed youth of punjab in 1990's,and we all know, once we destroy the Younth, there will be no revolution. As a result in 1995 Beant was blown with a human bomb by Sardar Jagtar singh hawara(Sardar Balwant singh Rajoana was the back up). Please do not compare Sardar Balwant singh with Afzal Guru or Kasab, they killed innocent hundustanis ......whereas Sardar Balwant singh killed Punjab CM Beant(mass murderer) as Sardar Bhagat singh had killed General Dawyer for Jalayanwala Bagh Massacre and Lala Lajpat Rai's Death.

from:  Aman
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 22:30 IST

Its really painful that we have elected such people who supports a culprit and a terrorist where we are heading; who all are these who declare them as voice of common man and enforces the bandh by muscle power and GUNDA RAJ. I personally do not support such people and believe that Mr. balwant singh rajoana must face the judicial conviction.

from:  ram pratap singh
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 22:26 IST

This goes to prove that all are equal before the law but some are more equal provided there is a power to support your cause. I support commutation of death sentence to Rajoanna even if he is guilty. Are all claiming to be "upright" really upright becuse they are not proved guilty? Death penalty should be abolished and instead if a punishment be given for a heineous crime, let it not be a death sentence or a life imprisonment which can be commuted but imprisonment upto death so that there be no release from prison. To err is human; every person is human and every human institution is human and there is a chance to err even in the most honest judgements. Once a life is taken away it can never be restored and tears shed over a wrong judgement go in vain. How many decisions and judgements have been found to be defective, and that is why a higher court of appeal and the highest human court of appeal of the country is the Honourable Supreme court and God the Truth be the final Court.

from:  Mathews
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 22:15 IST

What is really troublesome is that the elected Chief Minister of a State following the orders of the clergy. What is the difference between Punjab and Pakistan or Iran? If the CM has decided to act on his own on humanitarian or moral grounds, that is a different story. What will he do if the SGPC decreed that he is to support Babbar Khalsa?

Governments in a democracy should be answerable to the public, not to clergy. This is a dangerous shift towards theocracy.

from:  Soma
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 22:01 IST

I think Mr.Abhishek should get the ground reality before commenting on this crucial matter as he said MR. Beant Singh was a progressive CM but his progress was laid upon innocent persons who were massacred in the name of terrosits but in reality they were not .

from:  Jasvir Singh kang
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 22:01 IST

The current president will not take a decision since her tenure is to
end in a few months. The next president will no doubt sit on it till
capital punishments are abolished in India. Instead of excising the
cancer of terrorism through execution of stern legal measures, we are
gifting ourselves slow death at the hands of terrorism through a
thousand loopholes of political pressures. Might as well disband our
police and military force so that all can run amok and enjoy our
freedom.

from:  Venugopal Kaikulath
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 21:53 IST

Why not? When Ajmal kasab And Afzal Guru can still be alive despite what they did

from:  ABC
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 21:54 IST

This is a sad day in Indian history. We have made a mockery of our judiciary. The way this whole episode has spanned out, it makes me feel ashamed to be an Indian. Is there any law on the land which cannot be bent as per the wishes of the powerful & mighty. This is indeed a bad precedent. A precedent which makes India weaker than it already is. Law of land should be executed impartially whatever be the circumstances. A chief minister was assassinated who wiped out terrorism from the state of Punjab with 16 innocent lives. We are giving pardon to his killer in such ludicrous manner that it makes India appear like a banana republic where everything is for sale. Shame indeed.

from:  Debashish Sarkar
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 21:54 IST

A eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. This was told by beloved father of our nation and it's pity we don't follow it. Death Penalty is completely abolished in EU and I don't why still we keep on hanging to this cruel medival practise!

from:  ramprakash
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 21:53 IST

'The Hindu'can tell non-punjab readers on what is special about Mr. Rajoana that a chief minister meets president to save his life. Is he the same in line as the Rajiv assasins?

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 21:48 IST

It shows that in this country, "Law is NOT above all".
Those with political/religious connections can sabotage the normal process of law & justice. I just feel for the poor Dhananjay Chakraborty who was killed by India a decaded ago - only because nobody took processions against his execution and no one hijacked law & order for him. Why AT ALL have 'death penalty' alive in our system when it is applicable only to those who do NOT have political/religious connections ??

from:  Uday Singh Chauhan
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 21:42 IST

In case of Parliament attack in 2001, some questions still remain unanswered, especially, the role of Intelligence Bureau and Delhi Crime Branch. However, in cases of Rajiv Gandhi assassination and the assassination of Beant Singh thereafter, the roles of chief conspirators and co-conspirators were clearly established. So, let the persons convicted for assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and Beant Singh be hanged first. Then, we can look into the case of Afzal Guru.

from:  Haroon Rasheed
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 21:15 IST

Sad state of affairs. If a Chief Minister of a state succumbs to religious pressure groups on hanging of a criminal, who is convicted of killing another Chief Minister, nobody can save our Country.This is very dangerous.Now every killer with political backing will go Scot free.We can shut all criminal courts and judiciary. our democracy is giving too much of freedom.Everybody has become a law unto himself. The more Goonda more power. More states will follow the suit.Already pressure is on on Afzal guru, Killers of Rajiv Gandhi etc and President of India is not able to affix his Rubber stamp!!!

from:  ashok
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 21:09 IST

it is sad that terrorists roam free in this country just because a few people are concentrating on name of religion and caste. Sometimes i think, that India like China can only progress when people donot divide on name of religion, caste, language. However, in democratic country like India does not seem to be possible till next 50 years at least. Those who are protesting against his death didnot even thought that he has killed a person in spite of being a government service

from:  reetu sharma
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 20:52 IST

This is what is called Politics.Political parties have now taken time to
do politics on issue..So now President Office which has earlier shown
efficiency in other issues relating to capital punishment, so now it will
take another five or six years for the president to decide and till then
people will get a chance to do Politics on the issue.

from:  Sahitya
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 20:45 IST

I think that the death penalty should be abolished but so long as it remains the law, the Govt must abide by the decisions of the courts. It shows the Govt in very poor light when executions are put off under polital pressure, particularly when the person happens to be convicted because of serious offences such as terrorism or murder. The Govt does not have the guts to execute Afzal Guru who was convicted by the SC on charges of terrorism several years ago and now we have this case.

from:  krishna
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 20:21 IST

This is nothing short of giving thumbs up to extremist groups. Now anyone can kill anyone & be protected, sheltered & fed by taxpayers money. No common man will have sympathy with someone who blew up very progressive CM of Punjab.

from:  Abhishek Garg
Posted on: Mar 28, 2012 at 20:08 IST
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