Akal Takht asks SGPC to ensure release of Rajoana by next year
Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of Sikhs, Monday directed the SGPC to ensure the release of death row convict Balwant Singh Rajona by next year.
After chairing a meeting of the five Sikh head priests, Akal Takht Jathedar Gyani Harpreet Singh asked the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) "to do the needful" before the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev in November next year.
Harpreet Singh said the mercy petition of Rajoana, the death row convict in the Beant Singh assassination case, was pending before the President of India for the last seven years.
He asked the SGPC to put in "sincere efforts", so that the appeal before the President has a positive outcome.
Rajoana was the prime accused and convicted for the assassination of the then Punjab chief Minister Beant Singh in August 31, 1995.
He was awarded death sentence on Aug 1, 2007 by the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Chandigarh.
Beant Singh was killed by Dilawar Singh, an associate of Rajoana who was the backup human bomb had Dilawar failed in his plan to assassinate the chief minister.
Rajoana's execution was scheduled for March 31, 2012 but on March 28, the Union Home Ministry stayed the execution following clemency appeals filed by the SGPC. Meanwhile, the five Sikh head priests commended the decision of India and Pakistan governments to build Kartarpur corridor to facilitate easy access for Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.
(With inputs from agencies.)