Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday told the Lok Sabha that no pardon has been given to Balwant Singh Rajoana, who was convicted for the assassination of the then Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh in 1995. Shah’s reply came after Punjab Ravneet Singh Bittu sought a response from Shah on why Rajoana was pardoned. Asking the member not to go by media reports, the home minister said, “koi maafi ki nahi gayi (no pardon has been given)”.
In September, the Union Home Ministry officials had announced the central government’s decision to commute the death sentence of Rajoana to life imprisonment.
The decision was taken as a “humanitarian gesture” on the occasion of 550th birth celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, the officials had said.
A special court had in July 2007 awarded the death sentence to Rajoana, along with another terrorist Jagtar Singh Hawara, in the Beant Singh assassination case.
Meanwhile, Shah has reiterated his stand on National Register of Citizens (NRC) bill. (NRC) will be implemented across the country before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. “I assure you the NRC will be implemented across the country and all infiltrators identified and expelled before the 2024 polls,” Shah while addressing a rally in Jharkhand.
Notwithstanding the admission by some BJP leaders in West Bengal that apprehensions over the NRC had cost the party dearly in the recent bypolls there, the Union Home Minister told poll rallies in neighbouring Jharkhand that the nation- wide exercise will be conducted despite reservations voiced by opposition parties.
"Today, I want to tell you that before the 2024 polls the NRC will be conducted across the country and each and every infiltrator identified and expelled. "Rahul Baba (Congress leader Rahul Gandhi) says don't expel them. Where will they go, what will they eat? But I assure you that before the country goes to polls in 2024 all illegal immigrants will be thrown out," he told election rallies in Chakradharpur and Baharagora.