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On 550th Guru Nanak Jayanti Govt commutes death sentence of Punjab ex-CM's killer to life

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Chandigarh, Nov 12: The Union Home Ministry has commuted the death sentence of Babbar Khalsa terrorist Balwant Singh Rajoana, who was convicted for the assassination of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh, who was sentenced to death in 2007 for the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.

According to report, the decision has been communicated to the Punjab government and Chandigarh administration. And the remission order will be pursued by the Chandigarh administration.

Balwant Singh Rajoana

Rajoana, 52, who is currently lodged in Patiala Central Jail, is the prime accused in the case and he will now serve life imprisonment. Beant Singh, credited for ending terrorism in Punjab, was assassinated along with 16 more people in an explosion outside the Civil Secretariat in Chandigarh on August 31, 1995. And was was sentenced to death in 2007 by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Chandigarh and his execution was scheduled for March 31, 2012.

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As it is a case of Union Territory (UT), the Home Ministry has sent information to the UT administration.

An official of Punjab government also confirmed that since he's lodged in Punjab jail, so the Punjab officials here also got the information.

In September this year, the Home Ministry had approved the commutation of Rajoana's death sentence to a life term as a humanitarian gesture ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

The official also said that the UT administration will be the one following it up on his remission.

On the occassion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, besides Rajoana, the Home Ministry had also granted a special dispensation to eight other Sikh prisoners from various jails in the country.

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On March 28, 2012, the Home Ministry had stayed Rajoana's execution following clemency appeals filed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.

However, Dilawar Singh, a Punjab Police officer, had actually acted as a suicide bomber to assassinate Beant Singh. Rajoana was the second bomber in case Singh would have failed to kill the Congress leader.

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