Chandigarh: The execution of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh's co-assassin Balwant Singh Rajoana has run into a solid wall, with both the state government and even Balwant's jail superintendent flatly opposing the court order.
"I shall meet President Pratibha Patil tomorrow (Wednesday)," said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
"If the President decides to grant clemency or commutes the sentence from death to life, and in the mean time if someone hangs him, then how will you bring him back to life?" said Punjab Additional Advocate General AS Garewal.
Chandigarh sessions court on Tuesday ordered execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana on March 31 and also issued a showcause notice and contempt of court against Patiala Jail Superintendent for not carrying out the orders.
The Jail Superintendent has even invited a contempt notice, but remains adamant.
"I have all regards for court. I have no doubt about it, but there is certain ruling that the Supreme Court has laid down. How can I violate that? I have to take a legal remedy. We will get to the High Court tomorrow (Wednesday)," said Patiala Jail Superintendent Lakhwinder Singh Jakhar.
Congress leader Beant Singh was assassinated by Sikh extremists in 1995. It was under his chief ministership that the Khalistan separatist movement had been subdued. The human bomb who killed him, Dilawar Singh, was a Punjab Police constable. Balwant Singh Rajoana, also a police constable, was the back up human bomb. He was later arrested and convicted. Balwant's execution order has touched off a raw nerve in Punjab and there is considerable Sikh anger against it.
The Punjab government has declared high alert in the state and paramilitary companies have been deployed. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has also appealed for peace as several extremist organisations saying they will not let Rajoana be hanged. But Rajoana said he doesn't want to plead for clemency and wants to be hanged and therefore the orders were confirmed.
A state wide bandh has been called on Wednesday by several Sikh organisations.