There is no forgiveness for Beant's killer, says Shah

NEW DELHI: Interior Minister Amit Shah said Tuesday that he had not been granted any forgiveness, who was convicted of the murder of then Punjab Prime Minister Beant Singh in 1995.

Shah was answering the question posed by Punjab Congressman Ravneet Singh Bittu during the Question Hour in Lok Sabha.

Asking the member not to go through the media reports, Shah said: koi maafi nahi di gayi hai (no forgiveness has been granted).

There were reports in September on the decision of the central government to commute the death penalty from Rajoana to life imprisonment. It was then reported that the decision was taken as a humanitarian gesture on the occasion of the 550 celebrations of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev.

Rajoana, a former Punjab police officer, was convicted of his involvement in an explosion outside the Punjab civil secretariat that killed Beant Singh and 16 other people in 1995.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), who is part of the Narendra Modi government, said the decision to commute the death penalty would greatly contribute to mitigating the wounded feelings of the Sikh community that had to go through unspeakable repression and humiliation during those dark days ”when Punjab was pushed into terrorism.

Rajoana was scheduled to be hanged on March 31, 2012. However, the execution was suspended on March 28, 2012 by the UPA government in the Center after the Shiromoni Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee, the Sikh religious body, presented A request for mercy.

SAD, who was in office in Punjab, had campaigned against his execution. According to a report from the news agency, the President sent the petition to the Ministry of Interior for assistance. Since then the petition has been pending.