More suspense was added to the timing of execution of Babbar Khalsa militant Balwant Singh Rajoana with Patiala Central Jail authorities on Monday sending back the death warrant of the Chandigarh court pleading its inability to hang Rajoana since the case in which the Sikh hardliner has been awarded death sentence belongs to the Union Territory Chandigarh.
As per death warrants issued by additional session judge Chandigarh court Shalini Nagpal, Rajoana, who had confessed his role in assassination of chief minister of Punjab late Beant Singh, is scheduled to be hanged on March 31.
Attaching a letter with the death warrant sent back, the Patiala jail authorities have said that since the bomb blast that killed Beant Singh on August 31, 1995, in which Rajoana was the back-up bomber, had occurred in Punjab Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh and the trial of that case was also carried out in Chandigarh there was no point of hanging him in Patiala jail.
"Rajoana was in Patiala Central Jail since November 2010, because another case against is pending in a Patiala court in which 12 kg of RDX was recovered from him in Patiala. So there was no point of hanging him in Patiala," informed Patiala Jail authorities on the condition of anonymity.
A highly placed official from jail department in Chandigarh said the decision to revert back the death warrant has been taken after due consultation of legal experts and discussion of the issue at various levels of the state government including the chief minister's office.
Meanwhile, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh on Monday afternoon had a meeting with Rajoana which lasted for more than half an hour in Patiala jail and urged him to re-think over filing an appeal against the death penalty awarded to him.
"But Rajoana is adamant on not filing an appeal. On Tuesday, all five jathedars of Takhts would carry a meeting in Amritsar in which the next decision over the issue would be taken," said Giani Gurbachan Singh.