(Sukhbir Singh Badal says CM playing duplicitous role in the case)
(Asks Ludhiana mp Ravneet Bittu to apologize for the genocide of innocent Sikh youth by his grandfather Beant Singh)
Chandigarh, December 4 – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today said the party was in favour of freeing Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana from prison expeditiously in keeping with the sentiments of the Sikh panth and condemned the Congress party for rejecting the spirit of clemency on the 550th Parkash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji and seeking to reignite communal passions in Punjab by refusing to follow a humane approach in the case.
In a statement here, the SAD President said chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh was also following a duplicitous role in the case which was coming in the way of reprieve for Bhai Rajoana who had already been incarcerated for more than 23 years without parole. He said while the chief minister had done nothing to ensure reprieve to Bhai Rajoana he had moved with alacrity to recommend pardon for four killer cops who had abducted and killed an innocent Sikh youth in 1993 to secure out of turn promotions.
“The chief minister should make his stand clear and state whether he is in favour of commutation of Bhai Rajoana’s sentence or not. Capt Amarinder as the elected head of the State is not expected to indulge in double talk which has disturbed the Sikh community which is overwhelming in favour of freeing Bhai Rajoana from prison to apply a healing touch to its festering wounds.
The SAD president said it was unfortunate that politics was being played on this issue by the Congress party and particularly Ludhiana mp Ravneet Bittu who was making provocative statements aimed at vitiating the communal peace of the State. He said the Congress mp should realize the repercussions of following a policy of hatred and instead should use this occasion to apologize for the genocide committed on innocent Sikh youth by his grandfather and former chief minister Beant Singh. “
Stating that the SAD had pursued Bhai Rajoana’s case relentlessly since years, Badal said “we stand for adopting a humanitarian approach and have conveyed the same to the Union government on various instances. We feel the inflamed passions of the time against the State sponsored terror unleashed by the Congress government must also be taken into account while taking a decision on the case. The Sikh community is still looking for closure to that turbulent phase in the history of Punjab and we feel clemency to Bhai Rajoana will achieve this objective”.
Badal said the SAD would meet union Home Minister Amit Shah soon and apprise him about the special circumstances to ensure Bhai Rajoana’s sentence was commuted. “I am confident that the Home minister will see our point of view as well as that of the Sikh community and take an appropriate decision in the matter”, he added.