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Dal Khalsa slams BJP for adopting ‘selective approach’ on capital punishment

September 26, 2011 | By

Jalandhar (September 26, 2011): In a hard hitting statement, the Dal Khalsa has asked the BJP leadership to explain on what moral grounds they had been advocating the case of Indian spy Sarbjit Singh, who is on death row seeking his clemency from the Pakistani government.

The organization was reacting to the statement of BJP leader Shanta Kumar in which he said their party would oppose the resolution in case it is tabled in the Punjab assembly favouring commutation of Prof Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar’s death sentence into life.

Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh questioned the stated position of Hindutva party on capital punishment. He lambasted the BJP leadership for pushing the Indian government to hang Bhullar, Afzal Guru and others. Accusing the BJP leaders for having double tongue and twin face, he said BJP should practice what it preaches to others (referring to their advocacy for Sarbjit’s clemency). “One can’t be selective on such sensitive matters, said he and termed it as BJP’s hypocritical approach towards minorities”.

Notably, Prof Bhullar was handed over death sentence in a bomb blast case in which a dozen people lost their lives. Similarly, Pakistan trail court sentenced Sarbjit to death in bomb blasts case where dozens of people were killed.

Reiterating their party’s opposition to death penalty in principle, Kanwar Pal Singh said after Tamil Nadu tomorrow J&K assembly would be discussing on resolution favouring commutation of death sentence of Afzal Guru.

He urged the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to go ahead and table the resolution in the assembly on Oct 3 notwithstanding BJP’s opposition as Congress head in the state Captain Amrinder Singh has already given his mind that “he was against death penalty per se”.

Justifying the need for the resolution, he said Prof. Singh, was sentenced on the basis of a confession extracted under police duress. Moreover, his death sentence has been confirmed by the Supreme Court through a 2-1 split judgement. Hanging a person on the basis of a split judgement, wherein, the presiding judge has held the person totally innocent, is unprecedented in the annals of criminal jurisprudence, not only in India, but, across the world.

Favouring the commutation of death sentence to one and all on “humanitarian grounds”, he asked the governments of India and Pakistan to call for a moratorium on capital punishment.

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