Jagtar Tara convicted of Beant Singh assassination | punjab | top | Hindustan Times
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Jagtar Tara convicted of Beant Singh assassination

The-then CM of Punjab Beant Singh was killed in an explosion outside the Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh on August 31, 1995.

punjab Updated: Mar 17, 2018 13:24 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Jagtar Tara had confessed to his crime thrice already before the court had confessed to his crime thrice already before the court
Jagtar Tara had confessed to his crime thrice already before the court had confessed to his crime thrice already before the court(HT File)

The Chandigarh court has held Jagtar Singh Tara guilty of assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh on August 31, 1995, on Friday. Investigating authorities had named 15 people as accused in the bomb blast outside the Punjab secretariat that had killed Beant and 16 others.

Key milestones in trial
  • 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

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. The sentence will be pronounced on Saturday.

He will not be brought to court and the last hearing will take place at Burail jail itself where he is currently lodged.

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.

Tara drove the human bomb to secretariat

Tara had driven Dilawar, the human bomb, in an ambassador car to the secretariat. He was arrested in Delhi on September 13, 1995, with a cyanide capsule on him.

He, and two other accused, had fled from Burail jail, Chandigarh, during trial. In February 2004, non-bailable warrants were issued against him. He was nabbed from Thailand in January 2015.

He was booked under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

Facts
  • 15,000 pages of chargesheet
  • 248 witnesses
  • Navjot Singh, booked after a diary was recovered, was acquitted in 2007.
  • 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’

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.

(With inputs from Shailee Dogra)