April 20, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi, India (April 20, 2013): As per information a delegation of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has approached to Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, urging him to grant pardon to Sikh political prisoner Prof. Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, whose execution was cleared by Pratibha Patil, then President of India in 2011. Recently, on April 12, 2013 the Supreme Court of India cleared the execution of Prof. Bhullar.
It is learnt that on the directions of its president Avtar Singh Makkar, an SGPC delegation led by SGPC vice-president Kewal Singh Badal submitted a petition at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi on April 20, appealing for clemency to Prof. Bhullar. The petition addressed to the President was received by an official of Rashtrapati Bhawan.
“Day and Night News” (DNN) has reported that SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar was supposed to meet President of India and an appointment was sought by SGPC for this purpose. But the President of India did not granted the requisite appointment to the SGPC, therefore the petition was handed over by the delegation of SGPC to the officials of the Rashatpati Bhawan.
“Besides Kewal Singh Badal, other members of the delegation included executive committee members of the religious body, including Rajinder Singh Mehta, Nirmal Singh Jaula and Surjit Singh Garhi. Others who accompanied them were SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh and Kuldip Singh Bhogal, the organising secretary of the Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)” Hindustan Times (HT) has reported.
As per information the petition pointed out that Bhullar had been behind bars for the past 18 years and this fact should not be overlooked.
The petition also pointed out that one of the three judges of the apex court had expressed diverse opinion while upholding the death penalty awarded to Bhullar by a lower court.
Moreover, the sentence was pronounced merely on Bhullar’s self-confession given to the police under duress and not on the basis of statements of witnesses, the SGPC reportedly pointed out.
The petition also cited the Sikh Genocide 1984 and said that even after 28 years, no justice had been done to the victims. On the contrary, the death sentence of Kishori Lal, who butchered a number of Sikhs in Delhi, has been commuted, the petition pointed out.
“Much like the SAD, the SGPC too felt that for the sake of ‘peace and communal harmony’, Bhullar should be pardoned” HT has pointed out.
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