Beant Singh assassination: Jagtar Tara gets life imprisonment till death

Jagtar Singh Tara has confessed to his crime thrice till date stating that he killed the former Punjab CM because ‘Sikh history taught him not to bear injustice and the circumstances at that time were intolerable as innocent youths were being massacred’.

punjab Updated: Mar 17, 2018 16:19 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Beant Singh assassination,Jagtar Tara,life imprisonment
Jagtar Tara has confessed to his crime thrice. (HT File )

The Chandigarh court on Saturday awarded life imprisonment till death to Jagtar Singh Tara, who was held guilty of assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in 1995, on Friday.

A fine of Rs 35,000 has also been imposed. Tara was held guilty under Section 302 (murder) and 120 B ( criminal conspiracy) and sections 4 and 6 of The Explosives Substances Act. CBI counsel had pleaded for death penalty.

KEY MILESTONES
  • Aug 31, 1995: Ex- Punjab CM Beant Singh killed in a bomb blast outside Punjab and Haryana secretariat.
  • Jan 21/22, 2004: Three accused Hawara, Bheora and Tara escape from Burail jail digging a 100-ft tunnel. Rearrested later
  • July 31, 2007: Six convicted-- Jagtar Singh Hawara, Balwant Singh Rajoana awarded death sentence, Gurmeet Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Shamsher Singh — given life imprisonment and Naseeb Singh gets 10-year jail and Navjot Singh acquitted.
  • March 31, 2010: Paramjit Singh Bheora, the then BKI chief of operations (India), sentenced to death
  • Jan 7, 2010: Jagtar Tara arrested from Thailand, a month later in February trial starts

Investigating authorities had named 15 people as accused in the bomb blast outside the Punjab secretariat that had killed Beant and 16 others.

Punjab Police constable Dilawar Singh was the human bomb. Tara is the eighth accused facing trial, to be convicted. Six others were declared proclaimed offenders. There was one acquittal.

Tara has confessed to his crime thrice till date stating that he killed the former CM because ‘Sikh history taught him not to bear injustice and the circumstances at that time were intolerable as innocent youths were being massacred’.

A CBI court has already convicted Jagtar Singh Hawara, Paramjit Singh Bheora, Gurmeet Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Shamsher Singh, Naseeb Singh, Balwant Singh Rajoana and Navjot Singh.

THE CONVICTS 

Jagtar Singh Hawara: The master-mind, responsible for receiving and transporting the RDX from Pakistan. He has filed an appeal against his sentence. Presently in Tihar jail.

Balwant Singh Rajoana: The only one not to file an appeal against his death sentence. Presently in Burail jail.

Gurmeet Singh: An engineer working with the BPL prior to arrest. Got life-imprisonment. Presently in Burail jail.

Paramjeet Singh Bheora: Played a major role in the crime. The judgment had said, “He (Bheora) is proved to be one of the members of second category who were induced and instigated to commit the crime.”

Lakhwinder Singh: A munshi with the CID, he arranged repairs for the car used in the blast. Awarded life imprisonment.

Shamsher Singh: Accompanied Hawara in the truck that carried the RDX.

ACQUITTED

Navjot Singh, booked after a diary was recovered, was acquitted in 2007.

RELEASED

Naseeb Singh was released. The RDX was kept at his residence. He was awarded 10-year-jail and fined Rs 10,000. He was released after his sentence was converted to ‘period undergone’

Where are the 6 POs

Wadhwa Singh Babbar, Mehal Singh Babbar and Jagroop Singh are in Pakistan, Resham Singh is in Germany, Manjinder Singh is in the UK and Harjeet Singh is in the US

First Published: Mar 17, 2018 15:38 IST