SAD seeks review as ally BJP wants death penalty executed

The BJP’s stance on the issue is very clear: There should be no pardon for terrorists.

Written by Chitleen K Sethi | Chandigarh | Published:April 13, 2013 4:14 am

Allies in Punjab,SAD and BJP’s divide on the issue of supporting terrorists deepened on Friday after the SAD demanded a Presidential “review” of Devinderpal Singh Bhullar’s death sentence. The BJP’s stance on the issue is very clear: There should be no pardon for terrorists.

In a statement issued here on Friday,SAD general secretary Prem Singh Chandumajra said the party was deeply saddened by the Supreme Court dismissing Bhullar’s plea for commutation of his death sentence. “In this case,instead of going solely by legal parameters,the sentiments of the community and humanity should have been taken into consideration,” said Chandumajra.

Chandumajra said hanging terrorists is likely to “disturb” Punjab. “We want Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene in the matter. We appeal to the President to review his decision. Bhullar is mentally unsound now and one should be able to look beyond the past and take decision on humanitarian grounds” he added.

The BJP,on the other hand,has welcomed the apex court’s decision. Party vice-president Laxmi Kanta Chawla said: “It is a Supreme Court judgment and it must be respected. Whatsoever punishment has been awarded by the higher court should be implemented. We have seen how terrorists killed innocent persons. What about the families of those whose near and dear ones were killed by terrorists? They too have a right to justice.”

“The Supreme Court judgement must be respected and whatsoever punishment has been awarded by the higher court should be implemented. There cannot be any exception. Those who dare the challenge the authority of the state and those who wage a war against the state and conspire to destabilise the country through arms,should be ready to face the consequences,” BJP vice-president Balbir Punj told PTI.

Earlier,the relations between SAD and BJP had strained over the impending death sentence to Babbar Khalsa terrorist Balwant Singh Rajaona.

BJP in-charge of Punjab affairs,Shanta Kumar,had said BJP’s stand on terrorism was clear. “There should not be any compromise with terror and law should take its own course in such cases,” he had said. Asked about its ally SAD having pleaded for pardon for the terrorist with the Centre,Kumar had said: “There should be no attempt to interfere with the process of law.”

Rajoana is facing death for planning the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh. His mercy petition filed by SGPC is pending with President Pranab Mukherjee. SGPC is fully backed by SAD in supporting Rajoana. “For SAD,it is a matter of principle that no one should be hanged for a crime. We believe that it is for God to give life and take life,” said Chandumajra.

A difference of opinion between the SAD-BJP government and the SGPC has recently emerged on the issue of banning Punjabi film Saada Haq. While the SGPC seemed to have given its nod to the film,it was banned by the government on the ground that its release was likely to cause a law and order problem in Punjab. Later,the SGPC had distanced itself from the film.

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