Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has defended the state government's action to seek clemency for death convict Balwant Singh Rajoana, saying it was not at all justified to hang him since the mercy plea of the other co-accused was pending in court.
The state government had taken this stand "keeping in view the sentiments of the people and in order to avoid any law and order problem", he told reporters here on Friday.
Rajoana, a Babbar Khalsa member, has been sentenced to death for killing former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in Chandigarh on August 31, 1995.
Earlier, addressing a gathering here, Badal appealed to the people to maintain peace, communal harmony and amity in the state and to thwart "anti-Punjab forces bent upon vitiating the congenial atmosphere" in the state.
The chief minister said that unfortunately the recent disturbances in the state have indicated that "anti-Punjab forces" were again trying to raise their ugly head to disturb the hard-earned peace in the state.
Badal said though the state government was fully vigilant to crush the "nefarious designs" of such forces, people of the state also need to play a proactive role by extending support to the government at this juncture.