Clemency for Indian terrorist: Why is Germany interested?

New Delhi, May 10: There is a major political controversy over death for convicted Khalistani terrorist Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar. Adding to the drama is Germany's request against death sentence.

Why is Germany interested in a terrorist? German President Joachim Gauck and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle have written to their Indian counterparts seeking clemency for Bhullar.

Bhullar was convicted for the 1993 car bomb blast outside the Youth Congress office in the capital in which nine people were killed.

German President Gauck has written to President Pranab Mukherjee and he is the second German head of state to write letter on Bhullar. Following the rejection of Bhullar's mercy petition by the then President Pratibha Patil in May 2011, the then German President Christian Wulff had written to her against death sentence.

The reason for German interest lies in the origin of Bhullar's arrest. He was was arrested and deported from Germany.

Bhullar was arrested at Frankfurt airport in December 1994 for travelling on fake documents and Germany had deported him to India in January 1995.

Germany is against death sentence and has been campaigning for the abolition of the death penalty. Under German law, no one could be extradited or deported from Germany who might face death penalty in his own country.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has also agreed to examine a fresh plea seeking a stay on Bhullar's execution but turned down requests for immediate relief.

"We will see. We will list the matter for hearing," a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir told the lawyers for Bhullar's wife Navneet Kaur early this week. She has sought an interim order fearing he could be hanged any time.

Last month, the court had dismissed Navneet's plea that her husband's punishment be commuted to a life term on the ground of an eight-year delay in disposing of his mercy application. She has filed a review plea against the April 12 order.

The Supreme Court had first dismissed Bhullar's appeal against the capital punishment in 2002 and a review petition the same year. The mercy plea before the President was filed in 2003 and rejected in 2011.

OneIndia News

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