Sikh community pained, anguished by home minister's statement on Rajoana: SAD President

Chandigarh [India], Dec 3 (ANI): Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday said the statement of Home minister Amit Shah that Balwant Singh Rajoana's death sentence had not been commuted had caused pain and anguish to the Sikh community.

SAD, in a statement, said that the Sikh community was under the impression that the death sentence had been commuted to life on the eve of the 550 Parkash Purb celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji.

Badal added that the SAD stood for adopting a humanitarian approach in the case and had conveyed the same to the Union government through various representations.

Stating that the SAD would continue its fight to ensure reprieve to Rajoana, the SAD President said: "A high-level delegation would meet the Union minister soon and apprise him about the sentiments of the Sikh community and urge that Rajoana's death sentence be commuted."

He said this was also the sentiment of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha which had passed a unanimous resolution in this regard which had also been supported by Beant Singh's grandson Gurkirat Singh Kotli.

Further, Badal said: "It appeared that chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh had played a double game on this issue which had also influenced the decision of the Union government. The Punjab government did not include the name of Rajoana in the list of names of Sikh detainees who had been incarcerated in jail even after the completion of their sentences. He said the chief minister should tell why he did not recommend Rajoana's name for clemency."

He added that the anti-Sikh credentials of the Congress government were also proved from the fact that it had moved with alacrity to recommend pardon be granted to four killer cops who had abducted and killed an innocent Sikh youth in 1993 to secure out of turn promotions.

"This was done despite the fact that there were no mitigating circumstances to extend this benevolence to the killer cops. This largesse was extended to the cops despite the fact that the victim family had fought an 18-year-old battle to get them convicted and that they had been in jail for barely two years before they were pardoned," the SAD leader said.

Stating that the SAD would bring all these facts before the Home Minister and also disclose the perfidious role of the Congress government in denying reprieve to Rajoana, the SAD President said that the party was hopeful to get the death sentence commuted in keeping with the sentiments of the Sikh community which wanted a closure to the festering wounds of the past.

"I am confident the NDA government under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi will apply a healing touch and commute the sentence of Rajoana as a humanitarian gesture", he added. (ANI)