President Patil turns down mercy plea of Khalistan terrorist

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Pratibha Patil
New Delhi, May 27: As a part of the process to clear the long list of convicts on death row who have made mercy pleas, President Pratibha Patil on Thursday, May 26, rejected the mercy petition of Devender Singh Bhullar, a Khalistani Liberation Force (KLF) terrorist sentenced to death for a 1993 car bomb attack that killed 12 people and injured 29, including former Indian Youth Congress chief M.S. Bitta.

This was the second mercy petition from Bhullar that the President has turned down in the past two months.

Patil's decision came two days after the Supreme Court put the Delhi government on notice on Bhullar"s petition that his sentence be reduced to life imprisonment as the President had not decided on his mercy plea since 2002.

Bhullar was the mastermind of a car bomb attack on Bitta in front of 5, Raisina Road office of the Youth Congress on Sep 11, 1993. The daring RDX blast in the heart of New Delhi had shocked the nation. He was convicted in 2001 and his mercy petition was pending with the president since January 2003.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram had told parliament in February this year that the government will not prescribe a time-frame for deciding mercy petition of convicts sentenced to death.

He had also rejected allegation by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader that delay in deciding mercy petition of parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was linked to his religion, saying he did not look at religion or race of convicts in sending the petitions.

The minister added that case of three persons sentenced to death in assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was higher in order than Guru case.

Guru's wife Tabasum Afzal had petitioned the president on October 3, 2006, for commutation of his death sentence. The Delhi government was asked for its comments and it submitted its response in June last year. The report is under consideration of Chidambaram.

OneIndia News

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