The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today urged union home minister Rajnath Singh to favorably dispose of the mercy petition of former chief minister Beant Singh assassination death row convict Balwant Singh Rajoana keeping in view Sikh sentiments as well as need to maintain the hard won peace of Punjab.The SAD delegation which included senior leaders and mps Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Balwinder Singh Bhundur, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and Prem Singh Chandumajra besides former mp Tarlochan Singh and SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal, apprised the Home minister about the case, including the fact that Rajoana had started a fast unto death in the Patiala central jail to protest against the delay in processing of the mercy petition filed on his behalf before the President in 2012. Then chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal had met President Pratibha Patil on March 29, 2012, two days before the scheduled hanging of Rajoana, to hand over a mercy petition on behalf of the State government seeking clemency for the death row convict.
Giving details Mr Balwinder Bhundur said the home minister listened to the views of the delegation in a positive frame of mind and informed its members that he would ask for the relevant reports in the case so that necessary action could be taken.Mr Bhundur said the delegation members apprised the home minister about the extraordinary circumstances as well as inflamed sentiments after the army attack on Shri Darbar Sahib as well as subsequent massacre of Sikhs following the assassination of then PM Indira Gandhi. He said following this S Parkash Singh Badal as well as the SAD-BJP government had paid a key role in restoring normalcy in Punjab and strengthening communal peace and harmony. He said granting mercy to Rajoana would go a long way in healing the wounds of the turbulent era in Punjab’s history.Meanwhile Mr Bhundur said the Congress government should also do its bit for ensuring relief for Rajoana. He said chief minister Capt Amarinder should also make a formal representation in this regard and pursue the clemency appeal in earnest. “Capt Amarinder should also take up this issue with the Home Minister in person so that there is complete clarity that the Punjab government also supports the mercy petition”, he added.