March 17, 2018 9:22:41 am
The district court of Chandigarh on Friday pronounced Jagtar Singh Tara guilty in the case of assassination of former Punjab CM Beant Singh, who was killed in a bomb blast outside Punjab and Haryana secretariat on August 31, 1995. The blast had killed 17 others, including Punjab Police constable Dilawar Singh, who acted as a human bomb.
The court will announce the quantum of sentence on Saturday.
Tara was charges sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and under Sections 3 and 4 of the Explosive Substances Act.
Earlier, in January, Tara had submitted a letter of confession to the court stating, “I have no regret for killing Beant Singh”.
He had also admitted in court that he had purchased the car used for the assassination of Beant Singh and was involved in planning time and place of the killing.
The Chandigarh police had arrested nine persons for the assassination of Beant Singh while six others booked in the case were later declared proclaimed offenders by the court.
The trial began in the district court in 1995. However, in 2004, Jagtar Singh Tara, Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjeet Singh Bheora escaped from the high-security Burail Model Jail in Chandigarh after digging a tunnel. In 2006, Jagtar Singh Hawara was arrested by the Punjab Police from Patiala.
In 2007, the district court of Chandigarh held six persons in the case guilty while acquitted one Navjot Singh. Among those convicted, Jagtar Singh Hawara and Balwant Singh Rajoana were sentenced to death. However, Hawara appealed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which commuted his sentence to life imprisonment. Currently, he is lodged in Tihar jail in Delhi. Rajoana, who did not appeal against the death sentence, is currently in Patiala jail.
Among the other convicts, Shamsher Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Lakhwinder Singh were sentenced to life imprisonment and Naseeb Singh was sentenced 10 years of imprisonment.
In 2009, Paramjeet Singh Bheora was arrested from Jammu and sentenced to life imprisonment. Tara was arrested in Thailand by Interpol in November 2014 and brought to Chandigarh in 2015.
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