Balwant Singh Rajoana
Balwant Singh Rajoana was one of two assassins involved in the killing of Beant Singh.
On August 31, 1995, as Beant Singh stepped out of his office at the high-security Punjab civil secretariat in Chandigarh, suicide bomber Dilawar Singh blew himself up, killing Beant Singh and 17 other people. Rajoana had stood by, ready to blow himself up if Dilawar had failed to kill the Chief Minister.
The special CBI court in Chandigarh awarded the death sentence to Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara in the Beant Singh assassination case on August 1, 2007. Three others; Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Shamsher Singh were sentenced to life imprisonment for hatching the conspiracy to kill Beant Singh.
August 31, 1995: Then Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh was assassinated in a suicide bomb attack when he was stepping out of his office in high-security state secretariat. The explosion claimed the lives of 17 people.
September 5, 1995: Co-accused Lakhwinder Singh and Gurmeet Singh were arrested
September 12, 1995: Another accused Jagtar Singh also held
December, 1995: Balwant Singh arrested
February 19, 1996: Chandigarh district court issued a challan against 12 accused and three absconders in the connection with the case.
April 30, 1996: Chandigarh district court framed charges against 11 accused including Balwant Singh Rajaona, Gurmeet Singh, Nasib Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Navjot Singh, Jagtar Singh, Shamsher Singh and Paramjeet Singh.
August 1, 1996: Chandigarh Court sentenced death penalty against Balwant Singh Rajaona and Jagtar Singh Hawara. Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Shamsher Singh were awarded life imprisonment.
October 1, 2010: Rajoana said before the Chandigarh High Court that he would not appeal against his death sentence and he should be hanged immediately.
October 12, 2010: Chandigarh High Court commuted death punishment of Hawara to life imprisonment while Rajoana himself did not file mercy or review petition to challenge death punishment sentenced against him.
March 5, 2012: District Court ruled that Balwant Singh to be hanged on March 31.
March 19, 2012: Patiala Jail administration returned the death warrant citing legal and jurisdiction issues, but the court again sent death warrant as a ruling of High Court
March 26, 2012: Additional advocate General of Punjab and CBI counsel exchanged arguments over the death warrant issued against Balwant Singh in the Court.
March 27, 2012: District Court maintained that Balwant Singh should be hanged on scheduled date, March 31, and issued showcause notice for contempt of court to the Patiala Jail Superintendent for returning death warrant earlier.
Stories of Rajoana Hanging
Here are 10 big developments in this story:
1) Officials at the Patiala Jail had told the court they could not hang Mr Rajoana on Saturday. They pointed out that a mercy petition for Mr Rajoana, as well as another man convicted in the same case, are pending with the President of the country. However, the court in Chandigarh has ordered the jailor to conduct the execution on Saturday, and has sent a contempt of court notice to the superintendent of the prison.
2) The state government says it will file an appeal in a higher court to stop Saturday's hanging. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will meet President Pratibha Patil today with a clemency appeal.
3) Mr Rajoana has attacked the Punjab government for trying to save him. In a letter released today from prison, he described the Akali Dal, which is in power in Punjab, as "cheaters." He said the party has not fought to get justice for the Sikhs who were killed in the Delhi riots in 1984 after Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards.
4) The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee or SGPC, which functions as a parliament of Sikhs, sent a mercy petition to President Pratibha Patil for Mr Rajoana. It allegedly cites 11 other similar cases where the death sentence was commuted.
5) The Sikh clergy has said the state government must fight to save Mr Rajoana. The Akal Takht, which is the highest temporal seat of Sikhs, has conferred the title of "zinda shaheed" or living martyr conferred on him by Sikh high priests. Mr Rajoana has said he does not want this title.
6) Mr Rajoana was awarded the death sentence for the assassination of Beant Singh in 2007 by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court. Beant Singh who was the Chief Minister of Punjab from 1992 to 1995 was largely credited with wiping out terrorism from Punjab. He was assassinated by a human bomb, Dilawar Singh, at the high security Punjab civil secretariat in Chandigarh in August 1995. Mr Rajoana was to serve as a back-up human bomb.
7) The assassinated Chief Minister's family has also stated that it has forgiven Mr Rajoana and would like his death sentence to be converted to life imprisonment.
8) A man named Jagtar Singh Hawara was described by the court as the mastermind of the assassination plot and was sentenced to death but his punishment was later commuted by a different court.
9) The campaign to prevent Mr Rajoana's execution has turned into an emotional issue in Punjab. As the scheduled date of execution approaches, security in the state has been increased.
10) The execution can be stopped if the President of the country or the Supreme Court intervenes.
May 26 (2012)
Yesterday the SGPC, the apex religious body of the Sikhs, sent a mercy petition to the President seeking clemency for death row convict Balwant Singh Rajoana, even as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said he would soon meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard. An earlier petition seeking deferment of Rajoana’s execution, filed by the Patiala central jail authorities, was denied by the sessions court that ordered Rajoana to be hanged in the Patiala Central Jail on March 31. Patiala central jail superintendent Lakhwinder Singh Jakhar, who returned the death warrant issued by the court, was issued a show cause notice for "contempt of court". The court ordered the Jail Superintendent to file a reply by April 16.
Rajoana, who was convicted for being a Babbar Khalsa terrorist, has refused to defend himself in any court saying he wants to die for "the cause of Khalistan". He has also written that Akali leaders failed to secure justice from Delhi for innocent Sikhs and should not now 'throw their turbans' before Delhi, seeking clemency for him. He continued, “Akalis are trying to secure sympathy for me from Delhi with folded hands. But history would never forgive them for their failure to secure justice for Sikhs”.
About support being offered by Beant Singh's family and Amarinder Singh, Rajoana said, “Didn't want to seek any help from them, who are the representatives of killers.”
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said in the Assembly yesterday that Rajoana cannot be executed on Saturday. "After looking into the all legal aspects of the case minutely, the jail superintendent of the Central Jail in Patiala is of the view that since this case has many legal and constitutional shortcomings, loopholes and flaws, the execution of the court order is impossible within the ambit of law," the Chief Minister said.
The Sikh clergy has said the title of 'Zinda Shaheed' (Living Martyr) that was bestowed on deathrow convict Balwant Singh Rajoana, would not be withdrawn. A decision to this effect was taken at a marathon meeting of the five Sikh head priests including Gurbachan Singh, Jathedar of Akal Takht, the top temporal seat of the Sikhs.
Congress has disapproved all attempts by the Punjab Government and the SGPC to seek clemency for Balwant Singh Rajoana; convicted for his part in the assassination of Beant Singh, the Chief Minister of Punjab from 1992 to 1995 who was largely credited with wiping out terrorism from Punjab (a campaign that included the torture and death of thousands of innocent Sikhs).
Punjab Bandh(28 March 2012)
A day-long bandh called by radical Sikh outfits to protest the proposed execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted in the Beant Singh killing case, disrupted normal life in parts of Punjab on Wednesday.
A report from Patiala said the call for bandh evoked a total response in the city where Rajoana is lodged in the local Central Jail awaiting his execution on March 31 as per the orders of the Chandigarh Sessions Court.
The situation in the industrial town of Ludhiana was peaceful. Restaurants and eating houses were open while commercial establishments in some markets were partially open.
In Phagwara, the bandh was complete in the city located on the Delhi Jalandhar National Highway. Road traffic was plying normally though the number of passengers using public transport was few.
Section of Sikhs took to streets in some areas carrying flags as security personnel patrolled sensitive areas to maintain peace.
Hardliners Dal Khalsa, Khalsa Action Committee and Khalsa Mission organisation have urged the Sikh community to voluntary shut down their business establishments and observe the day-long bandh peacefully.
Security forces have been conducting flag marches at key locations in the state to instill sense of confidence among the people. Security around Patiala central jail where Rajoana is lodged had been beefed up with erection of additional security points.
Special control rooms have been set up in the districts to keep an eye on the movement of protestors.
On the directions of top temporal seat of Sikhs, Akal Takht, prayers are being held at different places in the state in support of Rajoana.
Trade and industry leaders had yesterday asked the Punjab Government to ensure peace and tranquillity in the state in the wake of the bandh call.
The special CBI court had awarded death sentence to Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara in the Beant Singh case on August 1, 2007. The Chandigarh court had issued the death warrant to the Patiala Jail authorities earlier this month, asking them to hang Rajoana on March 31.
On August 31, 1995 as Beant Singh stepped out of his office at the high-security Punjab civil secretariat in Chandigarh, a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing the then chief minister and 17 others.
Rajoana was the second human bomb to be used in case Dilawar failed in his mission.
Punjab bandh turns violent in support of Rajoana's clemency
At least six persons were injured in a clash between two groups in Patiala during the Wednesday bandh in Punjab in support of a clemency demand for Balwant Singh Rajoana, a Babbar Khalsa terrorist, who is on death row in the assassination case of former chief minister Beant Singh.
The two groups clashed in Patiala after some members of several organizations objected to Khalistan slogans raised by the clemency supporters.
Another incident of violence was reported from Lehragaga in Sangrur district where members of two communities pelted stones at each other.
In Jalandhar, protesters forcibly tried to close a bank and pelted stones at open shops. In Muktsar internal exams of students of a medical college were disrupted by the agitated demonstrators.
The violent incidents occurred despite huge presence of security personnel.
The strike till afternoon had remained peaceful and the state government had sounded a high alert and beefed up the security by deploying over 60,000 Punjab police personnel and 15 companies of para-military forces. Flag marches were carried out by the police department and the para-military forces in all the major cities. A complete 'bandh' was observed in Punjab hitting the normal life across the state.
The bandh call was given by the Akal Takht, the highest temporal body of the Sikhs, which has been demanding clemency for Rajoana. Shops, business establishments and schools remained closed in all the major cities including Amritsar, Jalandhar, Phagwara, Muktsar, Faridkot, Moga, Sangrur, Barnala, Mansa, Bathinda, Mohali, Patiala, and Ludhiana.
Public transport was also badly affected and roads remained deserted as buses throughout the state remained off the roads. Rajoana is to be hanged on March 31 as per the Chandigarh district court orders.
Complete bandh in Amritsar
Complete bandh was observed in Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts on Wednesday in protest against scheduled hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana, accused in killing of former chief minister of Punjab Beant Singh.
However, no untoward incident was reported from any part of districts. In the morning supply of essential items including milk, fruits and vegetables remained normal but the main markets of the city and towns, banks and schools remained closed.
While Sikh radical groups including Dal Khalsa, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani), Khalsa Action Committee had given a call of Punjab Bandh, the Sikh clerics had asked the Sikhs to 'refrain' from work.
Sikh radical leaders had ensured that no one take out naked sword during the protests , however, a few Nihangs were seen flashing naked swords.
In a statement, Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh expressed gratitude towards people of Punjab for extending support to bandh call. Dal Khalsa members under the leadership of Satnam Singh Paonta Sahib took a march on the streets of Amritsar. They carried flags having picture of Rajoana.. "if hanged, Rajoana would be a martyr of Khalistan struggle" said Satnam.
Reports of bandh was also received from Switzerland, Italy, France and Germany where Sikhs kept their businesss closed. Founder of Gurdwara Sahib, Langenthal, Switzerland Ranjit Singh Masuta told TOI over phone from Switzerlad that in Langenthal, Hotel Langenthal and Shalimar Restaurant, owned by Sikhs, remained closed and Sikhs also fluttered saffron flags outside their business establishments and houses. "Sikhs also kept their business closed in Italy, Germany and France" he said.
Meanwhile, police commissioner RP Mittal informed that no untoward incident or report of violence was received from any part of city.
Tension reigned at Lehragaga in Sangrur on Wednesday afternoon when members of certain Hindu and Sikh organizations indulged in stone pelting over the call for Punjab bandh against the upcoming execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana. Rajoana, who is co accused in the killing of then Punjab CM Beant Singh on August 31, 1995 is to be hanged on March 31. Both sides tearing apart the peaceful fabric threw stones at each other. Lehragaga is represented by former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal in Punjab assembly.
Clash at Patiala: Injured Sikhs admitted to Rajindra Hospital; Two critical
As per recent information available with Sikh Siyasat at least four injured Sikhs are admitted in Rajindra hospital; situation of two is reported to be critical. A severe clash took place at Arya Samaj Chowk, Patiala between protesting Sikhs and activists of Hindu extremist organization Shiv Sena.
Some local youth reached Rajinder hospital to ensure proper treatment of the injured. On a telephonic conversation with “Sikh Siyasat” they informed that situation of two Sikhs is critical as per doctors. They requested the local leaders or social workers to en sure proper treatment for the injured
Centre stays Rajoana hanging, Punjab leaders welcome it
The development was revealed by Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal in New Delhi after their meeting with President Pratibha Patil to whom they submitted a petition seeking mercy for Rajoana. The union ministry of home affairs (MHA), in a letter to Punjab's home secretary Wednesday (March 28), stated that the execution of Rajoana is stayed till the apex court's order on the appeal is received or the president decides on the mercy petition for Rajoana filed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).
"As per the procedure regarding petitions of mercy in death sentence cases, the execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana is stayed till the order of the Supreme Court in the matter of Criminal Appeal No. 2277/2011 and 1464/2011 or till the order of the President of India on the said mercy petition, whichever is later," said MHA's joint secretary (judicial) J.L. Chugh said.
The Badal father-son duo had told reporters that they have a letter from the central government staying the hanging of Rajoana, convicted and sentenced to death by a Chandigarh court. The central government's move comes after a tense build-up in Punjab in the last few days culminating into a bandh (shutdown) across the state Wednesday called by radical Sikh organisations.
Chief Minister Badal welcomed the decision to stay Rajoana's execution. "We welcome the decision. We are committed to maintaining peace and law and order at all costs," he said.
Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh also welcomed the move. "This will go a long way in maintaining peace in the state," Amarinder Singh said in Chandigarh.
The stay on Rajoana's execution came on a day when Punjab saw a shutdown to protest the scheduled hanging. The bandh affected life in most parts of Punjab but the man facing death remained defiant. Rajoana, lodged in Patiala's central jail, 80 km from Chandigarh, issued a letter through his sister Kamaldeep Kaur Wednesday appealing to people to maintain peace even after his death.
He said he will not submit any mercy petition to the president or prime minister to get his death sentence commuted, and added that he was waiting to die Saturday. Quoting her brother's letter, Kamaldeep Kaur told media outside Patiala jail Wednesday: "My brother has appealed for peace. He said that he will not seek clemency."
The area around the prison came under heavy security cover, said Patiala police chief Gurpreet Singh Gill. Barricades were put up on roads leading to the complex. On Wednesday, shops and commercial establishments were closed in most places across Punjab. Saffron colour flags were put up on buildings as well as houses and shops to portray defiance and protest marches were taken out in many places demanding clemency for Rajoana.
Educational institutions too were closed. There were fewer state transport and private buses on the roads. But other traffic was normal on most national and state highways. Protesters did block some roads in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Patiala and Amritsar for some time.
Additional Director General of Police S.K. Sharma said there was no major incident of violence. Minor violence was reported from Patiala. There was tension at Lehra and Tapa towns in southwest Punjab as Rajoana supporters forced traders to close down their establishments.
In Patiala, a clash took place between two groups. In Jalandhar, police used batons to disperse a mob at Adda Hoshiarpur area as some people armed with swords tried to stop a train. A clash was also reported in the industrial town of Phagwara, 120 km from here between two groups, forcing the police to intervene.
The call for the shutdown was given by Sikh organisations like Khalsa Action Committee, Dal Khalsa, and Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani). The head clergyman of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh religion, had also appealed to the people to stay indoors.
"The bandh was complete across Punjab," Dal Khalsa spokesman Kanwarpal Singh told IANS. A court in Chandigarh Tuesday directed that the BKI terrorist be hanged Saturday, for the high-profile assassination that took place some two years after a bloody decade-long Sikh separatist campaign was crushed in 1993 after the loss of some 25,000 lives.
In New York, Human Rights Watch urged the Indian government not to hang Rajoana, saying it was opposed in principle to capital punishment.
Shutdown affects Punjab, Balwant Singh Rajoana appeals for peace
A shutdown called by Sikh groups to protest the scheduled hanging of terrorist Balwant Singh Rajoana affected life in most parts of Punjab but the man facing death remained defiant.
Protest marches were taken out in many places demanding clemency for Rajoana, who is to hang on Saturday for his role in the 1995 assassination of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.
Authorities said barring stray incidents of unrest, the situation was largely peaceful. Rajoana himself appealed to Sikh youths to remain calm, even after his death.
The call for the shutdown was given by Sikh organizations like Khalsa Action Committee, Dal Khalsa, and Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani). The head clergyman of the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh religion, had also appealed to the people to stay indoors.
"The bandh was complete across Punjab," Dal Khalsa spokesman Kanwarpal Singh told IANS.
Minor violence was reported from Patiala, 80 km from here. There was tension at Lehra and Tapa towns in southwest Punjab as Rajoana supporters forced traders to close down their establishments.
In Patiala, a clash took place between two groups. In Jalandhar, police used batons to disperse a mob at Adda Hoshiarpur area as some people armed with swords tried to stop a train.
A clash was also reported in the industrial town of Phagwara, 120 km from here between two groups, forcing the police to intervene.
Rajoana, lodged in Patiala's central jail, issued a letter through his sister Kamaldeep Kaur appealing to people to maintain peace.
He said he will not submit any mercy petition to the president or prime minister to get his death sentence commuted, and added that he was waiting to die Saturday.
Quoting her brother's letter, Kamaldeep Kaur told media outside Patiala jail Wednesday: "My brother has appealed for peace. He said that he will not seek clemency."
The area around the prison came under heavy security cover. Barricades were put up on roads leading to the complex.
Patiala police chief Gurpreet Singh Gill said tight security was in place around the prison.
A court in Chandigarh Tuesday directed that the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) terrorist be hanged Saturday for playing a role in the killing of Congress chief minister Beant Singh.
The high-profile assassination took place some two years after a bloody decade-long Sikh separatist campaign was crushed in 1993 after the loss of some 25,000 lives.
On Wednesday, shops and commercial establishments were closed in most places across the state. Saffron colour flags were put up on buildings as well as houses and shops to portray defiance.
Additional Director General of Police S.K. Sharma said there was no major incident of violence.
Educational institutions too were closed. There were fewer state transport and private buses on the roads.
But other traffic was normal on most national and state highways. Protesters did block some roads in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Patiala and Amritsar for some time.
With tension running high, the authorities are taking no chances.
Nearly 60,000 Punjab Police personnel and 15 companies of paramilitary forces have been put on alert.
In Chandigarh, the administration imposed prohibitory orders to foil protests and rallies.
Radical Sikh group Dal Khalsa said the shutdown Wednesday was a success in Punjab.
In New York, Human Rights Watch urged the Indian government not to hang Rajoana, saying it was opposed in principle to capital punishment.
Killing of Sikh Youths
A youth was killed and another person injured when police allegedly fired to disperse a group of persons assembled near Ramgarhia gurdwara on Tibri road in Gurdaspur this morning. Curfew was later clamped in the town in view of the tension. The deceased was identified as Jaspal Singh (18) of Sidhwan Jamita village near Gurdaspur while the injured was Ranjit Singh of Pandher near here. He had been referred to Amritsar hospital.
Around 200 persons had gathered near the gurdwara at around 11am while another group had assembled near Hanuman Chowk, 300 yards from the gurdwara. In order to prevent a clash, police went near the gurdwara and tried to disperse the group stationed there by bursting tear gas shells and firing in the air.
In the ensuing melee, one person was killed in firing, allegedly by new recruits.Senior police officers were in the town to monitor the situation.
"Curfew has been imposed in Gurdaspur city after tension mounted between some Shiv Sena activists and other youths, including Sikhs," Gurdaspur deputy commissioner Mohinder Singh Kainth told PTI over phone.
Kainth said that the situation was "under control".
In order to disperse the two groups, police allegedly opened fire in which one person died and another was injured, sources said. However, Kainth said that police resorted to firing to disperse the two groups in which one person was injured. "We are verifying the facts whether the person was injured during the firing," he said.
Curfew in Gurdaspur Aftet 1 Person Killed
Curfew was today clamped in Gurdaspur city following heightened tension between Shiv Sena activists and some Sikh youth.
"Curfew has been imposed in Gurdaspur City after tension mounted between some Shiv Sainiks and other youths, including Sikhs," Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner Mohinder Singh Kainth told Press Trust of India over phone here.
He said that the Shiv Sainiks had given a call for Gurdaspur bandh on Thursday in the wake of registration of cases against some persons following clashes during Punjab bandh on Wednesday.
During the bandh, most of the establishments owned by Hindus were closed whereas those belonging to Sikhs were open, sources said adding that resisting the move of Sikhs, the Shiv Sena activists came face to face with them.
In order to disperse the two groups, police allegedly opened fire in which one person died and another was injured, sources said.
However, Deputy Commissioner Kainth said that police resorted to firing to disperse the two groups in which one person was injured.
"We are verifying the facts whether the person was injured during the firing," he said.
The Shiv Sainiks were protesting against the registration of cases against 14 Hindus following a scuffle during Punjab bandh yesterday, sources said adding that the police opened fire in air to disperse the mob in Hanuman Chowk in the heart of the border town.
Police also cane-charged and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse the mob, sources said.
During the Punjab bandh yesterday, 14 Hindu youths had opposed the Sikh organisations to shut down the shutters of their establishments resulting in clash between the two groups.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Commissioner said that the situation was "under control". Yesterday, normal life was crippled across Punjab which witnessed sporadic violence during the day-long shutdown, called by radical Sikh outfits, to protest the scheduled hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in the former Chief Minister Beant Singh assassination case.
Balwant Singh Views about Others
Simranjit Singh Mann and Daljit Singh Bittu
- Source: Live TV - http://english.samaylive.com/regional-news/punjab-news/676502054/balwant-singh-rajoana-to-be-hanged-on-march-31-court.html
- Source: NDTV: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/will-balwant-singh-rajoana-be-hanged-on-saturday-10-big-developments-190557&cp
- Source: News Youth Killed in Gurdaspur : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x49WfPYNyg
- Source: News Youth Killed iN Gurdaspur: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM6Gfi6e1JU&feature=related