Execution of Balwant taking political overtures

Chandigarh: The execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a co-accused in the killing of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in 1995, is taking political connotations in the state even as top leadership of main parties SAD and Congress treaded cautiously on the issue here on Monday.

Before the commencement of the first session of the assembly, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was circumspect while replying to media querries on the issue.

"The crime has not taken place in Punjab. It happened in the Union Territory, so any decision on execution of Rajoana will have to be taken by the UT," Badal told reporters here while refusing to make any further remark on the issue.

However, Ravneet Singh Bittu, a Congress MP from Anandpur Sahib and grandson of late Beant Singh, said Punjab government should immediately make its stand clear on the issue.

"Rajoana had never sought pardon...however, there is no question of giving him relief," he said adding "I fail to understand why Punjab government is confused on the issue."

Punjab Jails Minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur said "any decision on the issue will be taken keeping in mind the law and verdict of the court."

Punjab Congress chief and former chief minister Amarinder Singh said "he is not clear on this legal issue and so he will first go into its detail before making any statement."

Meanwhile, Gurbachan Singh, the head of Akal Takhat, the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, had convened a meeting of top five Sikh priests at Amritsar tomorrow to take any decision on the issue.