September 30, 2019 1:04:15 pm
Reacting to reports of Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) commuting death sentence of Balwant Singh Rajoana to life imprisonment, the grandson of former CM Beant Singh and Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu Sunday accused PM Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah of doublespeak on terror, adding that “Rajoana is a dreaded terrorist”.
Rajoana is one of the convicted assassins of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.
“It would be a black day for Indian democracy and Punjab if reports are true. There won’t be a bigger blot for Modi and Amit Shah. There was a list of Sikh prisoners which was mutually decided by Indian government and Punjab government on the basis of their good conduct and to give relief to those prisoners who are very old now and have none to fight their cases or bail them out. It was a goodwill gesture on 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, but as far as Rajoana’s death punishment being commuted to life imprisonment is concerned, my and Captain Amarinder Singh’s stand on it is very clear. He is a dreaded terrorist and should not be spared at any cost. I do not have any issues with release of those prisoners who have shown good conduct but terrorists like Rajoana cannot be spared,” said MP Bittu.
Bittu further said that doublespeak of Modi and Shah on terrorism now stood exposed.
“At the global platform like the United Nations, our PM talks of fighting terrorism and unites other countries on this issue and then just for petty politics and to pin down its own ally SAD in Punjab, BJP is doing such things to woo Sikhs and make its own individual political base in Punjab. Nothing can be pettier and cheaper than such politics by BJP. Modi and Shah are playing with fire and putting peace of Punjab on stake for their own vested interests but we won’t let this happen. My family suffered a huge loss with killing of my grandfather but we are ready for another battle and won’t let BJP push Punjab back into black days of terrorism,” said Bittu.
Adding that Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh recommended the names of only those prisoners who showed good conduct and were actually facing injustice, Bittu said, “My and Captain Amarinder Singh’s stand on this is very clear. Rajoana is a dreaded terrorist and cannot be spared. We won’t leave Punjab at the mercy of such terrorists again whose ideologies can never change. Tomorrow, he will come out on parole and start all terrorist activities again. We won’t let peace of Punjab be put on stake again just for political gains of BJP because people like Rajoana can never change. This battle by my family will be fought at every step. Modi should explain if leaving a terrorist is anti-national or not.”
Earlier, the death sentence of another accused in Beant Singh assassination case of 1995, Jagtar Singh Hawara, was also commuted to life imprisonment in 2010 by Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Kamaldeep Kaur, sister of Rajoana, meanwhile, said that her brother has already spent 24 years in jail and why Bittu was having issues only with release of his brother.
“My brother has already spent 24 years of his life in jail. His name is not the only one being considered but many others are there too. Why Bittu is having issues only with my brother? It is because my brother has always raised voice against atrocities of Congress leaders during 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Victims of riots never got justice till date. We thank central government for having some sympathy for us,” she said.
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