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Patiala Jail superintendent rejects hearsay about Rajoana’s Jail transfer; Writes of SSP seeking beef-up in security

March 8, 2013 | By

Patiala, Punjab (March 08, 2013): Patiala Jail superintendent Bhupinder Singh Virk reportedly wrote on March 07, 2013 to Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Gill to provide additional security for Patiala Central Jail in the wake of ‘rumours’ that Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana, who is on a death row and is lodged in Patiala jail, being shifted to New Delhi.

Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana (quote from Will)

Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana (quote from Will)

The rumors started on Wednesday (March 06) that Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana had been shifted to New Delhi in a clandestine manner for his probable hanging on the lines of recent hangings of Mumbai attack convict Ajmal Kasab and Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

“Yes, as a precautionary measure in the wake of ongoing rumours about Balwant Ssingh Rajoana, I have written to Patiala SSP to provide additional security for jail. Due to rumours, people may come and stage a dharna,” Virk reportedly said.

“Rajoana is in Patiala jail itself,” Virk added while denying that jail authorities had received any communication relating to Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana from the Centre.

It is notable that Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana was sentenced to death by an Indian court for his involvement in assassination of Punjab’s Chief Minister Beant Singh on August 31, 1995. Bhai Rajoana had admitted his participation to the assassination of CM Beant Singh. In his hand-written letters submitted in the court from time to time, he refused to contest his case in Indian courts expressing no faith in Indian state system or the Indian judiciary. In his letters he made it clear that while planning and executing the assassination of Beant Singh, they had acted out of existential concerns, as Sikhs were facing facing existential crisis during Beant Singh’s regime that was indulged in committing mass level atrocities on civilian Sikh population.

Bhai Balwant Singh even refused to appeal against the death sentence awarded by Indian court. In March 2012 a Chandigarh court issued his death warrants for March 31, 2012. But before the date of execution a constitutional review petition was field by Shiroamani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) before President of India under Article 72 of the Indian Constitution. As a matter of procedure the execution of death sentence was indeterminately postponed.

It is notable that on November 21, 2012 Indian terminated about eight years long de-facto moratorium on death penalty by Hanging Azmal Kasab for his involvement in 26/11 Mumbai attacks. This was followed by hanging of Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri who was convicted in 2001 attack on Indian parliament. Both were hanged in secrecy by Indian state. India’s President had rejected their review petitions but the fact of rejection of petitions was released only after their executions. The body of Afzal Guru was also buried in Tihar Jail Delhi as the government had cited jail rules as reason for refusal to hand over his body to the family for last rites.

There are apprehensions that India may hang Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana in secrecy. Common impression is that in order to avoid mass-protests in Punjab as the aftermath of the suspected/proposed execution Indian government may transfer Rajoana to Delhi’s Tihar Jail for execution.

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