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February 4, 2023 4:56 pm

SAD appeals to PM and HM to apply healing touch by commuting Bhai Rajoana’s death sentence to a life sentence

The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, September 29

Senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia on Thursday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home minister Amit Shah to apply a healing touch by commuting Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana’s death sentence to life sentence to facilitate his release from prison.

Addressing newsmen here, the former minister said Punjabis, as well as Guru Naam Leva sangat across the world, felt that the commutation of Bhai Rajoana’s death sentence had been delayed with the union government not acting on its decision to commute it on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji in 2019. “Bhai Rajoana has been incarcerated for the last 27 years in an eight-foot by eight-foot cell without parole. Since he has completed a life sentence he should be released immediately”.

Asserting that the Supreme Court had rightly observed that the central government had taken an inordinate time in deciding the mercy petition of Bhai Rajoana, Bikram Majithia said “now that the apex court has asked the centre to take a decision in the case by tomorrow, the central government should take the extraordinary conditions of the case into consideration and commute the death sentence”.

Majithia said not doing so would send a wrong signal to the minority community. Referring to the Bilkis Bano case in which remission was granted to a rapist; Majithia said “a message should not go that there are different rules for minorities”. He also cited remissions granted to police officers who had committed extrajudicial killings, stating Bhai Rajoana’s case was a fit matter for clemency. “Bhai Rajoana has been punished for his actions which were the result of grave provocation. Bhai ji was anguished by the attack on Sri Akal Takth Sahib and the subsequent genocide of Sikhs in 1984 by the then Congress government. His subsequent conduct has been that of a model prisoner and he deserves to be released from captivity as he has completed his life sentence also”.

Stating that Bhai Rajoana and the other Sikh detainees did not have any personal enmity with anyone and that they had been swayed by emotions, Majithia said “keeping them imprisoned even after completion of their life sentences would be tantamount to violating their human rights”. He also appealed to those who were opposing the release of the detainees to not do so. “We should not resort to narrow sectarian politics and try to polarize communities. Punjabis want a closure in this case. Doing so will only strengthen the peace and communal harmony”, Majithia added.

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