Akal Takht to review decision on Rajoana title



Amritsar: Faced with a piquant situation, the Akal Takht, top temporal seat of the Sikhs, on Sunday said it would review its decision on bestowing the title of 'Living Martyr' on death row convict Balwant Singh Rajoana, an assassin of former Chief Minister Beant Singh.

Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh said a meeting of the five Sikh head priests would be called shortly in this regard.

A piquant situation arose when Rajoana, a Babbar Khalsa terrorist who is scheduled to be hanged on March 31, refused the title of 'Zinda Shaheed' (Living Martyr) conferred on him.

"I will prefer to be termed a Shaheed after I am hanged," he said in a statement issued through his sister Kamaljeet Kaur who had met him in Patiala jail yesterday.

"Zinda (living) and Shaheed (martyr) are two separate and opposite terms which could not be used together in this case," Rajoana said in a statement.

Commenting on the development, radical Sikh organisation Dal Khalsa said the Jathedars had made a mockery of their decision.

"Jathedar Gurbachan Singh has coined this new terminology on his own without application of mind.

"Never in the history of the Akal Takht such a title has been bestowed on any Sikh personality," Dal Khalsa Secretary Kanwar Pal Singh said.

PTI