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HindustanTimes Sat,12 Jul 2014

Rajoana's sympathisers hold protest march

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Gurdaspur, March 26, 2012
First Published: 23:14 IST(26/3/2012) | Last Updated: 23:20 IST(26/3/2012)

Under the banner of the Sikh Chetna Manch, around 300 Sikhs, including a few women, took out a protest march against the death sentence to Balwant Singh Rajoana in the Beant Singh assassination case, in Gurdaspur on Monday.

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Former Khalistan Commando Force chief Wassan Singh Zaffarwal led the protest march, in which former Punjab State Tourism Corporation chairman Inderjit Singh Baghi, district Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal) president Kulbir Singh Sandhu and former Akali MLA late Kartar Singh Pahra's son Surinder Singh Pahra also participated.

The protesters assembled at Gurdwara Sant Baba Tehl Singh, from where they marched to the deputy commissioner's office through Hanuman Chowk, Library Chowk and Post Office Chowk.

Holding saffron flags and posters of Rajoana, they shouted slogans like "Balwant Singh Rajoana di fansi di saza mauf karo" (commute Rajoana's death sentence).

Addressing the protesters, Baghi alleged that there were two types of constitutions in India, one for the Sikhs and the other for the rest of the citizens. He said that the government had been adopting different yardsticks for the Sikhs.

He asked that when none of the perpetrators of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 had been awarded death sentence, why was Rajoana being hanged.
Sandhu said that under section 433 of the CrPC, the Punjab governor could commute Rajoana's death penalty to life sentence.

The protesters later submitted a charter of their demands addressed to President Pratibha Patil to Gurdaspur sub-divisional magistrate Tejinderpal Singh.

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