An eminent human rights body on Thursday asked India to immediately stop impending executions and renew its moratorium on capital punishment.
"In the past year, India has made a full-scale retreat from its previous principled rejection of the death penalty," said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director, Human Rights Watch.
"The government should instead declare an official moratorium, commute all existing death sentences to life in prison, and then work towards abolishing the death penalty once and for all," she said.
In its statement, Human Rights Watch urged the Indian government to demonstrate its commitment to international human rights obligations by halting all executions, starting with Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, who was sentenced to death in 2001 for a 1993 bomb blast in New Delhi.
The Supreme Court had on August 14 dismissed Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) terrorist Bhullar's plea seeking a review of its verdict against commuting his death sentence to life imprisonment on the ground of delay in deciding his mercy plea.