SAD flays Punjab CM for pardon of 4 murder convicts



Holding Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh "directly responsible" for pardoning the four cops who killed a Sikh youth in a fake encounter, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal here on Wednesday sought the Chief Minister's explanation for it.

Badal said the SAD would press for revocation of the pardon by approaching the Governor. "We will also move the high court against the pardon," he said.

"We owe this to the Sikh masses, especially the families of thousands of innocent Sikh youth killed in fake encounters in the state during the Congress governments or the Governor's regime," Badal said.

The SAD President said the government files proved that Amarinder Singh took a personal interest in securing pardon for the killer cops.

Sharing copies of files with the media, Badal said, "The Chief Minister must explain what was his personal interest in getting the known and convicted killers of a Sikh youth pardoned even as the family of victim had to endure extreme suffering and hardships in securing a conviction in the case."

"What explains the Chief Minister's persistence and haste in pursuing the case with the central government even after the Centre showed reluctance in granting clearance to the pardon, and never actually granted it?"

The SAD leader demanded a judicial probe by a sitting high court judge into the sequence of events to unearth the conspiracy behind it. The Chief Minister must tell Punjabis why his government recommended the pardon knowing well the facts of the case, he added.

The SAD President said neither he as Home Minister or the Jails Minister or the Chief Minister processed the file during the previous SAD-BJP government. The Congress government was not only at fault for recommending and implementing the pardon, but also not recording the serious nature of the crime, he added.

"This is a clear case of travesty of justice and we demand the pardon decision be reviewed immediately," he said.

To a question on the killing of Mohinderpal Bittu in a high-security prison, prime accused in sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib, Badal said it was an emotional act reflecting the hurt and anger of every Sikh over the repeated acts of sacrilege.

"There are also pointers towards a deep-rooted conspiracy by the high and mighty in the state to destroy crucial evidence about the mastermind behind the sacrilege conspiracy," he said.IANS