Welcoming the Supreme Court verdict rejecting the mercy plea of Khalistani terrorist Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, who had targeted him in a bomb attack in 1993, then Youth Congress leader M.S. Bitta on Friday alleged no one — including his Congress party — had come forward to help him.
Bhullar, convicted and sentenced to death in 2003 for carrying out a bomb blast outside the Youth Congress office in Delhi in 1993, had sought commutation of his death penalty to life sentence on the ground that there was inordinate delay by the President on his mercy plea.
“Bhullar’s file kept moving inside the Home Ministry, Law Ministry and the Delhi government for 15 years... I didn’t expect Bhullar will get the death sentence,” said Mr. Bitta.
He also alleged that the Sheila Dikshit government had tried to help Bhullar by declaring him “mental”.
“Today’s decision was very crucial. We bow before the court,” Mr. Bitta said.
“None was with me. The media also left me. I always asked why they (the then government) had withdrawn my security cover... there was also an attack on me in 1992. My party and my leadership got frightened and left me to fend for myself,” he said.
“I will also fight for death penalty to the convicts in the assassination case of Rajiv Gandhi. This is my next target,” he added.
Mr. Bitta claimed that despite his association with the Congress, some in the party had worked against him and asked him to back down in the case.
“Ambika Soni had called me and told me to back down in the Bhullar case,” he alleged, and also questioned why Kapil Sibal had represented Bhullar in the case in the past.
'Verdict must be respected'
“We respect the Supreme Court judgment. We respect any judgement of any court. We never intervene in any legal system,” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told IANS.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Balbir Punj said: “Whatsoever punishment awarded by the Supreme Court should be implemented. There cannot be any exceptions”.
“And those who dared to challenge the authority of the state and those who wage war against the state and conspire to destabilise the country should be ready to face consequences,” said Mr. Punj.