Akali Dal leaders are cheaters: Balwant Rajoana

Patiala: As the SGPC and Punjab Government pitched for a pardon for him, Balwant Singh Rajoana, who has been convicted for the assassination of former Chief Minister Beant Singh, today described Akali leaders as "cheaters" and asked them not to seek clemency for him.

In his latest letter released to Sikhs from the Central Jail here, he said, "I don`t need any help from blue-turbaned Akali leaders, who have not done anything so far to secure justice for Sikhs. Akali leaders have started speaking up now as they fear that if they don`t, they will lose their support."

The copies of the letter were distributed by his foster sister Kamaldeep Kaur outside the Central Jail where he is lodged.

Rajoana also wrote that Akali leaders failed to secure justice from Delhi for innocent Sikhs and should not now throw their turbans before Delhi to seek clemency for him. "Akalis are trying to secure sympathy for me from Delhi with folded hands. But history would never forgive them for their failure to secure justice for Sikhs," said Rajoana.

About support being offered by Beant Singh`s family members and Amarinder Singh, Rajoana said, "Didn`t want to seek any help from them, who are the representatives of killers".

The special CBI court in Chandigarh had awarded death sentence to Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara in the Beant Singh assassination case on August 1, 2007. Three others – Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Shamsher Singh – were sentenced to life imprisonment for hatching the conspiracy to kill Beant Singh.

Rajoana did not appeal against the judgement nor has he filed any mercy petition. The death penalty of Hawara, who filed an appeal against it, was commuted to life sentence.

On August 31, 1995, as Beant Singh stepped out of his office at the high-security Punjab civil secretariat in Chandigarh, a suicide bomber Dilawar Singh blew himself up, killing the then Chief Minister and 17 others. Rajoana was the second human bomb to be used in case Dilawar had failed in his mission.

SGPC, the apex religious body of Sikhs, yesterday sent a mercy petition to the President seeking clemency for death row convict Balwant Singh Rajoana even as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said he would soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.