To Be HANGED: 5 Men in Indian Jails
Bangalore: More than half the countries in the world have either abolished the death penalty or stopped using it in practice, but India doesn't rank among those which have scrapped the death penalty. The Balwant Singh Rajoana sentence has sparked yet another debate on capital punishment. The last execution of death penalty in India was of Dhananjoy Chatterjee who was hanged for raping and killing a school girl in August 2004.
Capital punishment in India is legal but rarely carried out. The imposition of the penalty is not always followed by execution because of the possibility of commutation to life imprisonment. The capital punishment is imposed only in "the rarest of rare cases." Few of the cases are as under:
Balwant Singh Rajoana:
Babbar Khalsa terrorist Balwant Singh Rajoana was sentenced to death in 1995 for his role in the assassination of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh. Beant Singh was assassinated by a human bomb, Dilawar Singh and Rajoana was to serve as a back-up human bomb.
Rajoana is to be hanged on March 31.While the state government says it will file an appeal in a higher court to stop Saturday's hanging, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will meet President Pratibha Patil with a clemency appeal.
The campaign to prevent Rajoana's execution has turned into an emotional issue in Punjab and state faces a bandh today in support of Rajoana. However, Rajoana has refused to defend himself in the Beant Singh assassination case saying that he was involved.
The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, the Punjab government and the Sikh body Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) have come out openly to support the campaign to save him from the gallows, though Rajoana, through a letter, has asked the Akali Dal to refrain from doing so.
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