Rajoana row: Govt to take all legal steps, says Punjab CM

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Punjab
Chandigarh, Mar 25: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday, Mar 24, said his government would take all possible legal steps pertaining to death row convict Balwant Singh Rajoana even as SAD's core committee would meet here tomorrow to discuss the issue threadbare.

"My government has been taking advice from legal experts. All possible legal steps will be initiated pertaining to Rajoana's case," he told reporters here and in Patiala.

On Friday, Mar 23, the Sikh clergy directed him and SGPC head Avtar Singh Makkar to make efforts to save Rajoana, a convict in the assassination of former Chief Minister Beant Singh, from the gallows.

The highest Sikh temporal body, the Akal Takht, had also directed the SGPC chief to meet the President and the Prime Minister to save Rajoana who is scheduled to be hanged in Patiala Central jail on March 31.

On seeking clemency for Rajoana, the Chief Minister said he had great faith and respect for the Akal Takht and his government would initiate all possible legal steps regarding Rajoana's case.

"I appeal to the people of Punjab to maintain hard earned peace and communal harmony in the state," he said.

SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal had summoned an emergency meeting of the party's core committee here tomorrow to discuss the issue. The Chief Minister and Makkar would attend the meeting, Shiromani Akali Dal secretary Daljit Singh Cheema said.

Additional District and Sessions Judge, Chandigarh, Shalini Nagpal had earlier this month issued a warrant of death sentence against the Babbar Khalsa terrorist. A special CBI court had awarded death sentence to Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara in the Beant Singh case on August 1, 2007.

PTI

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