Days after SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal met Khalistan militant and convict Balwant Singh Rajoana’s sister and assured legal aid, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal too reached her residence in Ludhiana Friday.
Rajoana was convicted for the 1995 assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh during a blast which also left at least 16 others dead in Chandigarh. Speaking to the media outside the convict’s sister Kamaldeep Kaur’s residence, Sukhbir said, “The entire SAD leadership and panth are standing with Rajoana. Soon all SAD MPs will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to seek relief for Rajoana. We also urge him not to start hunger strike inside jail. We will be doing everything possible to get relief for him.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Kamaldeep said, “Sukhbir Badal has assured us that the SAD leadership including all MPs will soon be meeting the prime minister and home minister to seek relief for my brother because he has already spent 24 years in jail without any parole…” She added that she will soon be meeting Rajoana, who is currently lodged in Patiala Central Jail.
Earlier, the Home Ministry had reportedly decided to give special remission to Rajoana and commute his death sentence to life imprisonment as a special gesture on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Beant Singh’s grandson Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu had strongly condemned it. Later, Home Minister Amit Shah had refuted media reports and said that Rajoana hasn’t been pardoned or given any remission.
After Sukhbir’s meeting with Kamaldeep, Bittu once again slammed the SAD, saying that the Akalis have sided with “murderers” and this has shown their true mentality.
In a press statement, Bittu said, “Thousands of people lost their lives during the dark days of terrorism in the state and the Akalis standing in favour of perpetrators of those crimes exposes their real face. It clearly shows that the Akalis led by Sukhbir Singh Badal have always supported such people, which is sad.”
He said that Beant Singh attained martyrdom safeguarding the rights of Punjabis and for maintaining peace and communal harmony in the state. “Sukhbir Singh Badal should explain what about the families of all those who died along with Sardar Beant Singh? It clearly shows that the Akalis do not care about all those who attained martyrdom with Sardar Beant Singh,” he added.
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