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Article by Punjab Newsline

Title of living Martyr bestowed upon to Balwant Singh Rajoana wouldn’t be withdrawn- Sikh clergy

Monday, March 26, 2012 – 21:45By Jagmohan SinghAMRITSAR: Five Sikh head priests including Jatehdar Akal Takhat (Highest Sikh Temporal Seat) Gyani Gurbachan Singh has today categorically stated the title of Zinda Shaheed (living Martyr) bestowed upon to Balwant Singh Rajoana assassin of former CM Punjab Beant Singh wouldn’t be withdrawn.Following the marathon meeting of five Sikh Head Priests, talking to media Jathedar Akal Takhat (Highest Sikh Temporal Seat) Gyani Gurbachan Singh said that title of Zinda Shaheed was conferred upon Balwant Singh keeping in view the sentiments of Sikh community.Adding further Jathedar described Rajoana as Sikh warrior said that he had raised his voice and did action against atrocities on Sikh community, hence Rajoana was been declared living martyr for the Sikh community.Jatehdar said that Rajoana put his life on stake for the larger interest of Sikh community since he did all that to save the rights of Sikh community.Jathedar said that they have due regard towards the sentiments expressed by Balwant Singh Rajaona but the title once conferred upon to him would not be withdrawn since it was kind of edict which once issued couldn’t be reversed.However, Jathedar has called upon the special meeting of five Sikh head priests here today to review the title of Zinda Shaheed (living Martyr) bestowed upon to Balwant Singh Rajoana.Situation arose following the statement of Balwant Singh Rajaona who through his sister Kamaljeet Kaur had given statement to media that he would not accept the title of Zindha Shaheed bestowed by the Akal Takhat during the meeting of Sikh clergies held at Akal Takhat on March 23rd of this month.Citing reasons for rejecting title, Rajoana had stated “Zindha (living) and Shaheed (martyr) were two separate and opposite terms which couldn’t be used together in his case. Rajoana had said that he didn’t want such title as first he would prefer to get the title of martyr after being hanged.It was also said by Rajoana that by accepting title of Zinda Shaheed didn’t want to be akin of self styled president of All India Anti Terrorist M.S. Bitta who used to claim himself a real fighter.However, Jathedar said that if hanging of Rajaona was not postponed pardoned by March 27 the next program to be announced from Akal Takht on March 29th.A convict in the former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh’s assassination case, scheduled to be hanged in Patiala central jail at 9 am on March 31.Punjab’s late chief minister Beant Singh was assassinated on 31 August 1995 at Chandigarh by men militant outfit Babbar Khalsa group. The mastermind that includes Jagtar Singh Hawara and Balwant Singh Rajoana was arrested in December 1995. Both were awarded death sentence by special court of the CBI. While commuting the death sentence of Hawara into life, the high court, however, upheld the death sentence to Balwant Singh, who had not opposed the gallows awarded to him in 2007 after an 11-year-old trial in a special trial court.

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