Death sentence commutation plea: Rajoana to start hunger strike from Jan 11 against SGPC inaction
Balwant Singh Rajoana, the death row convict in the case involving the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, will start hunger strike from January 11 at the Patiala central jail against the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for allegedly not pursuing his appeal for commuting capital punishment sincerely enough.
This was stated by Rajoana’s sister Kamaldeep Kaur announced this holding the gurdwara body responsible for delay in the final decision by the President on her brother’s appeal.
“Eight years have passed since the appeal was submitted to the President but nothing has been done so far. The SGPC never pursued my brother appeal with sincerity. Had it shown seriousness in taking up the matter with the President and the Union home ministry, the situation will be different,” she said.
“The SGPC promised us to provide a senior lawyer to fight the case in the Supreme Court but it has not done the needful. My brother sat on hunger strike twice and now he is going to do the same again. The SGPC should be ashamed of it as it has let the panth down,” she added.
Recently, the central government included Rajoana’s name among eight Sikh prisoners who are undergoing sentence for crimes that took place during the militancy period. Their names were cleared for special remission by the Centre as humanitarian gesture on the 550th Parkash Purb of Guru Nanak. But in a U-turn earlier this month, Union home minister Amit Shah told the Lok Sabha that no pardon was given to him.