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Days after Rojoana’s hunger strike threat, Longowal meets his sister

Says will meet Amit Shah to ensure commutation of death sentence, appeals Rajoana not to go on protest
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By HT Correspondent, Amritsar
PUBLISHED ON DEC 30, 2019 11:59 PM IST

Days after Balwant Singh Rajoana, the death row convict in the assassination case of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, announced to start hunger strike from January 11 against the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for allegedly not pursuing his plea for commuting capital punishment sincerely, SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal on Monday met his sister Kamaldeep Kaur at her residence at Ludhiana.

Longowal, along with SGPC junior vice-president Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa and member Gurcharan Singh Grewal, Kamaldeep and her husband Baljit Singh and

assured them that the gurdwara body will pursue Rajoana’s plea sincerely on every level, as per a press release issued by the SGPC here.

Longowal said they would soon meet Union home minister Amit Shah and appeal to him to stick to the decision taken by the home department earlier to commute Rajoana’s death sentence.

Rajoana’s name was among eight Sikh prisoners whose names were cleared by the Centre recently for special remission as a humanitarian gesture on the 550th Parkash Purb of Guru Nanak. But in a U-turn earlier this month, Shah told the Lok Sabha that no pardon was given to Rajoana.

Longowal said the Centre’s U-turn in this regard is surprising. “No stone will be left unturned for commutation of Roajoana’s death sentence. If need arises, the SGPC will file a petition in the Supreme Court and services of prominent lawyers of the country will be hired to fight the legal battle for Rajoana”.

Appealing to Rajoana to not to go on hunger strike, Longowal said he will also meet him personally before January 11.

He said the SGPC is committed to address issues concerning the Sikh community.

Rajoana’s sister thanked Longowal for visiting her to address their concern. On December 27, she had disclosed that Rajoana will go on hunger strike, holding the gurdwara body responsible for delay in the final decision by the President on her brother’s appeal.

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