SAD leaders Majithia, Valtoha not allowed to meet Rajoana in Patiala jail - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

SAD leaders Majithia, Valtoha not allowed to meet Rajoana in Patiala jail

By, Patiala
Dec 05, 2023 08:28 AM IST

Akali leaders claim permission from ADGP to meet death row convict, but jail superintendent says Majithia was informed over phone about approval being denied

A day after the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) appealed to Balwant Singh Rajoana, a death row convict in former Punjab CM Beant Singh’s assassination case, not to go on a hunger strike to seek withdrawal of his mercy petition filed by the apex religious body of Sikhs, a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) delegation, comprising Bikram Singh Majithia and Virsa Singh Valtoha, was not allowed to meet him in Patiala Central Jail on Monday.

Former Punjab minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikramjit Singh Majithia leaves after he was barred from meeting Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in the 1995 assassination of former chief minister Beant Singh, at Central Jail in Patiala on Monday. (ANI)
Former Punjab minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikramjit Singh Majithia leaves after he was barred from meeting Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in the 1995 assassination of former chief minister Beant Singh, at Central Jail in Patiala on Monday. (ANI)

The Akali leaders claimed they had permission from the additional director general of police (ADGP, Jails), but the prison authorities did not allow them to meet Rajoana. “The ADGP had permitted us to meet Rajoana. Now, the jail superintendent is denying it. This attitude has to change. Gangsters are giving interviews from inside the jail, but we are not allowed to meet Rajoana.”

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

Majithia said he wanted to urge Rajoana not to go on hunger strike from Tuesday. “I want to appeal him not to go on hunger strike. He should cancel his call for hunger strike,” he said.

He further said even as Rajoana was being discriminated against by being denied meetings, gangster Lawrence Bishnoi was given VIP treatment and even provided with smart phones and special food. “The nation also knows how former AAP minister Satyendra Jain was accorded masseurs and special food in jail in Delhi.”

Rajaona had conveyed SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami that he would start the hunger strike on December 5 if his petition was not withdrawn by December 4. Rajoana had written to the Akal Takht Jathedar to direct the SGPC to withdraw the mercy petition it had filed in 2012 to the President on his behalf. However, the SGPC chief said after an executive committee meeting on Sunday that the mercy plea had been filed keeping in view “Panthic” sentiments and it was not in the interest of the community to withdraw it. The SGPC has been seeking the release of several Sikh prisoners, including Rajoana and Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, who is a 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict.

Permission was denied telephonically on Dec 2: Jail authorities

After the Akali leaders levelled allegations against the jail authorities, the Patiala jail superintendent issued a press statement saying permission was denied telephonically. “After a thorough examination of the application as per the Punjab Prison Rules, 2022, it was decided not allow both public figures to meet the prisoners in Patiala central jail,” he said.

The jail superintendent said Majithia was told verbally on phone about the denial of permission on December 2. Therefore, the allegations that both the leaders were denied permission to meet Rajoana at the last moment is incorrect, he said.

A representative of Shiromani Akali Dal presented an application on November 30 in the office of ADGP, Prisons, seeking approval for Majithia and Valtoha to meet Rajoana on any day before December 5. On December 1, the application was sent by the prisons headquarters, Chandigarh, to the office of the superintendent, Central Jail, Patiala, to arrange a meeting as per the law as the jail superintendent is the competent authority to decide on such matters.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) asserted that chief minister Bhagwant Mann and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal would be solely responsible if any harm was done to Balwant Singh Rajoana by going on hunger strike on Tuesday, even as it condemned the AAP for turning into enemies of the Sikh prisoners.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, June 13, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On