Free Rajoana, Akali Dal urges Centre

A day after Supreme Court pushed the government to take a decision on a mercy petition filed by Balwant Singh Rajoana — facing capital punishment for the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh — before Republic Day, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday urged the Centre to set him free.

Mr. Badal urged both the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind to personally expedite it as “a fulfilment of a national commitment made to Punjabis in general and the Sikhs in particular by the government of India. The government of India is already on record having committed to commute Bhai Rajoana’s death sentence into life imprisonment. This commitment was made as a special gesture to the Sikhs on the eve of the 550th Parkash Utsav of Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji”.

“In view of this commitment, there is no rationale behind keeping Bhai Rajoana behind bars for even a single day more as he has already suffered incarceration for over 26 years,” said Mr. Badal in a statement.

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