Emphasising that the state government would not allow disturbance of communal harmony in Punjab at any cost, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday said his administration would make every legal effort possible to resolve the issue born out of death sentence to Balwant Singh Rajoana in the Beant Singh assassination case.
The chief minister was here on Saturday to inaugurate a cancer treatment centre at Government Rajindra Medical College and Hospital. "The state government is consulting legal experts," he said, "and it will do everything possible within the legal compulsions."
From Day One of the issue, the government had been observing the case from every angle, Badal claimed. "Now even the family of former chief minister Beant Singh has stated that it will not object Rajoana getting mercy in the assassination case," said the CM. "Maintaining peace in the state is of utmost importance."
The government will take a decision on Sunday, when it has all the legal opinion and views of the other departments concerned, Badal has said. Asked if following the "hukamnama (religious edict)" of the Akal Takht, the government would approach the President to seek unconditional mercy for Rajoana, he replied "if need be, the government will do that".
"Unha da hukamnama sir matthe… (We respect their edict) but as the government, we have our duties," said Badal. Known for cool head in every situation, the CM lost his temper a bit during the press conference when a journalist asked him how soon his government would react, since Rajoana was to be hanged in only six days. "Kaka, tere naalon jyada mainu pata hai… (Son, I know better than you)," said a Badal, irritated visibly.
The chief minister also ducked queries about the Akal Takht declaring Dilabar Singh, human bomber in the Beant Singh assassination case, "quami shaheed (martyr of the faith)". "I will reply what the government will have to do." he said, "This query you can take to Sri Akal Takht."
Since Punjab's peace was hard won, said Badal, the state government had the duty to maintain it at any cost. The chief minister, sitting with Chunni Lal Bhagat, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state legislative party leader and cabinet minister for local bodies and medical education, said the Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP were together on the issue, and there was no harm, if by averting the hanging of any person, they could assure peace in the state.