Sikhs protest at Indian embassy for Bhullar

Last Updated: Monday, June 20, 2011 - 20:28

Berlin: Sikhs from across the European Union (EU) Monday held a peaceful protest at Indian embassy here seeking clemency for Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) terrorist Devender Singh Bhullar, whose mercy petition was rejected by the Indian president last month.

Sikhs from the across the EU gathered at Indian mission at Tiergartenstrase, held a two-hour-long protest and then submitted a memorandum to ambassador Sudhir Vyas.

Many of them were holding placards reading "Join to save Prof. Bhular" and "Convert death sentence to life imprisonment".

Sikhs in Berlin have formed an 11-member Professor Bhullar Defence Committee to fight for Bhullar, who has been given death penalty in a 1993 car bombing in New Delhi that killed 12 people and injured 29, including then Youth Congress chief MS Bitta.

"Around 400 Sikhs from Germany, Holland, Belgium, Poland and the UK have participated in the protest," committee member Surinder Singh Sekhon said to a news agency.

A signature campaign was also run in the gurdwara in Berlin asking people to sign a petition against the hanging of Bhullar.

"We are really disappointed over the Indian president rejecting the mercy petition of Prof. Bhullar. He has been in jail since 1995 and we want his death sentence to be changed to life imprisonment," Sekhon said.

The European Union, in a letter to Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram last week, urged the Indian government not to hang Bhullar.

Bhullar was deported to India from Germany in 1995 and has been lodged in the high security ward of New Delhi`s Tihar Jail. He was deported after his application for political asylum was rejected. The decision to deport him was declared illegal by a Frankfurt court two years later.

German law prohibits deportation or extradition of individuals to countries where they could be given a death sentence or tortured in custody.

Bhullar was convicted in 2001 and his mercy petition was pending with the president since January 2003. He was the mastermind of a car bomb attack on Bitta in front of 5, Raisina Road, office of the Youth Congress in New Delhi Sep 11, 1993.

The daring RDX blast in the heart of New Delhi had shocked the nation and prompted Bitta to set up the Anti-Terrorist Front.

Bhullar was sentenced to death Aug 25, 2001, and the Supreme Court dismissed his special leave petition Dec 27, 2006.

Sikh communities and human rights activists are running a campaign asking that his mercy petition be accepted.

IANS



First Published: Monday, June 20, 2011 - 20:28

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