Balwant Singh Rajoana

Balwant Singh Rajoana, convicted for the assassination of Punjab CM Beant Singh, received an extraordinary reprieve three days before his death sentence was to be executed, with the Centre buckling under the high-pressure advocacy of the Akali Dal government. President Pratibha Patil accepted a clemency petition from Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal on Wednesday, a move that is seen to have the Centre’s concurrence. The Badals came to Delhi at the behest of the Akal Takht, the temporal seat of the Sikhs that directed the Punjab government to stall Rajoana’s hanging.

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