Centre stays Rajoana hanging: Badal

The central government Wednesday stayed the hanging of Babbar Khalsa International terrorist Balwant Singh Rajoana for the Aug 31, 1995 assassination of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh. The execution was scheduled Saturday.

This was revealed by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal here after their meeting with President Pratibha Patil to whom they submitted a petition seeking mercy for Rajoana.

The Badal father-son duo told reporters that they have a letter from the central government that has stayed the hanging of Rajoana, convicted and sentenced to death by a Chandigarh court, till the Supreme Court disposes of an appeal or till the president decides on the mercy petition.

Officials of Rashtrapati Bhavan said the Badals met the president and submitted the mercy petition on behalf of the Punjab government Wednesday evening.

“We met the president. His (Rajoana) hanging has been stayed, said Parkash Singh Badal later.

We have been issued this letter just now which clearly states that the execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana is stayed till the order of the Supreme Court in the matter of criminal appeal or till the order of the President of India on the mercy petition, whichever is later, said Sukhbir Badal.