Forces on alert in Punjab, conduct flag march

Punjab police and forces conducted a flag march in various places apprehending violence in the wake of possible execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana.

Chandigarh: Punjab police and paramilitary forces on Tuesday conducted a flag march in various places apprehending violence in the wake of possible execution of
Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in the assassination of former Chief Minister Beant Singh.

Security forces have been conducting repeated flag march at various places in the state including Moga, Jalandhar and Ludhiana, to in still a sense of confidence among residents.

Punjab`s DGP Sumedh Singh Saini has directed the district
police chiefs to take all preventive and necessary steps to
maintain peace in the state.

Meanwhile, police patrolling has also been intensified in
the urban and rural areas as a precautionary measure. Extra
forces have been deployed around sensitive installations.

A few companies of paramilitary forces had been rushed
from the Centre as a precautionary measure and have been
deployed at Amritsar, Patiala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and other

Security around the Central Jail at Patiala, where
Rajoana is lodged, has been beefed up by erecting additional
security check points and restricting the entry.

Rajoana, as per a court order, will be hanged on March 31
at Central Jail, Patiala.

SGPC, the apex religious body of Sikhs, yesterday sent a
mercy petition to the President seeking clemency for Rajoana
even as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said he
would soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.

In a related development, the Superintendent of Patiala
Jail moved a petition in a court seeking deferment of Babbar
Khalsa militant`s hanging as the CBI contended he had no locus
standi to challenge the warrant of execution.

Meanwhile, activists of some Sikh organisations took out
a protest march in Jalandhar today and raised slogans in
favour of Rajoana.

There were reports of similar protest marches being taken
out at other places in the state including Hoshiarpur, with
activists demanding clemency for Rajoana.

The special CBI court had awarded death sentence to
Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara on August one, 2007.


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