Patiala: The superintendent of police in charge of the jail in Patiala, Punjab, has returned the death warrant of Balwant Singh Rajoana, one of the assassins of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, to an additional session court in Chandigarh, citing legal weaknesses.
Police has claimed that Rajoana`s execution is not within the jurisdiction of Punjab.
Rajoana was convicted for killing Beant Singh and 17 others in August 1995.
He was due to be hanged on March 31.
Beant Singh, 73, was assassinated in Chandigarh on August 31, 1995. He was a Congress politician and Punjab chief minister from 1992 to 1995.
Born in a village in present day Pakistan, he migrated to India and settled down in village Bilaspur in Ludhiana District. Thereafter, he moved to Village Kotli in District Ludhiana . He was also the sarpanch of Bilaspur. He was with the army for two years before opting out to do social work and join politics.
He played a significant role in ending militancy in Punjab with the help of the Punjab Police, which was then led by KPS Gill.
Beant Singh was assassinated through a bomb explosion by militants as he was entering the Punjab Secretariat complex in Chandigarh on August 31, 1995.
The blast claimed the lives of 14 others, including the lives of three of the nation``s most experienced commandos.
During his time as chief minister, over 50,000 Sikhs, including youth, men, women and children were killed.
On Friday, Akal Takht Jathedar, Gyani Gurbachan Singh, urged Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil to save the life of Rajoana.
Gyani Gurbachan Singh met over 250 Sikh leaders to ascertain their views on the issue. After the meeting, the Jathedar issued the direction.
He described Rajoana as an asset of the Sikh community,” and it was the duty and accountability of SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal, SAD president Sukhbir Badal and SGPC chief to meet the Prime Minister and the President on priority basis to save his life.
The Jathedar described Rajoana as a “Sikh warrior” who had “raised his voice and acted against atrocities” on Sikh community. Rajoana was declared a “living martyr” for the Sikh community.