The Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC), apex religious body of Sikhs, today urged the President to commute the death sentence of militant Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar to life imprisonment “in view of the sentiments of the Sikh community”.
In a memorandum submitted to Punjab Governor Shivraj V Patil by its president Avtar Singh Makkar here, the SGPC maintained that the Sikh community and all political parties in the state “are unanimous that the extreme punishment of death awarded to Bhullar be converted into life imprisonment in view of prolonged incarceration and suffering of accused of various psychiatric illness and suicidal tendencies”.
“This case does not fall within the definition of rare of the rarest cases” and so does not warrant a death penalty, it said. Bhullar was deported from Germany which has also strongly opposed the execution of death penalty, Makkar said, adding that it was a “very emotive” in Punjab.
Bhullar was sentenced to death for carryiong out a bomb blast in New Delhi outside the office of All India Youth Congress in which the then youth Congress chief Maninderjit Singh Bitta was injured and several people lost their lives in 1990s. He was sentenced to death August 25, 2001, and the Supreme Court dismissed his special leave petition in December 2006.
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