March 16, 2012 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Patiala, Punjab (March 16, 2012): As per media reports dated March 15, 2012 the Punjab Jails Department has refused to execute the order of a Chandigarh court asking the Patiala Central Jail authorities to hang former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassin Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana, claiming that Punjab has no such understanding with the Chandigarh Administration. At present, Balwant Singh Rajoana is lodged in the Patiala jail.
Following a written request by the DGP (Jails) Shashi Kant to the Punjab Home Department this afternoon, the state government is now exploring legal options as to how “the execution orders by a Chandigarh court pertaining to the hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana could be sent back without being executed”.
Media reports have quoted sources saying that technically Rajoana could not be hanged in any jail of Punjab and his execution would have to be carried out in the Burial Jail at Chandigarh.
Reports have further added that the state government was also not very keen on executing the Chandigarh court order in Punjab as the hanging could come as a setback for the newly formed government.
Media sources maintained that a decision in this regard was taken by the Jails Department this morning after a surprise visit of the DGP (Jails) to the Central Jail, Patiala, where he held a closed door meeting with jail officials. “The meeting lasted for over an hour and later Shashi Kant met Balwant Singh and also took stock of the security arrangements,” reports The Tribune.
The DGP (Jails) cited a 1983 agreement between Chandigarh and Punjab, wherein it was stated that the condemned prisoners could be kept in the Central Jail, Patiala, in lieu of daily lodging and boarding charges. However there is no provision that such prisoners would be hanged in the Central Jail, Patiala.
Shashi Kant is reported to have said that he had already apprised the Punjab Home Department on the issue and after taking into consideration various legal obligations, he would also get in touch with the court to apprise it of the facts pertaining to the case.
“Our Home Department would inform the UT Home Secretary shortly as our understanding with the Chandigarh Administration does not authorise us to hang a convict who committed a crime in Chandigarh and is their prisoner,” Kant is quoted to have said by The Tribune.
The denial to hang Rajoana has come as a major relief for the SAD-BJP government in Punjab as Sikhs in large numbers were against the hanging of Rajoana and his hanging in the state could have drawn criticism for the newly formed Badal-BJP government.
Rajoana want Akal Takhat to make gift possible
Following the teachings of Bhagat Kabir Ji in spirit, Balwant Singh Rajoana – who is likely to be hanged on March 31 for assassinating former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh – has urged the Akal Takht Jathedar to ensure that his wish of donating his eyes and other organs is fulfilled, reports Times of India (TOI).
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Related Topics: Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana, Death Penalty, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Sikh Struggle