—The Dal Khalsa spoke out against the Government of India (GoI) for advising the President to reject the clemency petitions of political prisoners such as Khalistan Freedom activist Professor Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar, Kashmiri activist Afzal Guru and Tamil activists Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan one after the other.
In a hard hitting statement, the party’s general secretary Dr. Manjinder Singh and spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh described the simultaneous decisions of the government as anti-minority. The rejection of multiple clemency pleas from Sikh, Muslim and Tamil political prisoners reflects the anti-minority mindset of the Government.
“It does not seem to be a mere coincidence, rather it’s [a] well thought [out plan by the] GoI,” they stated.
Accusing the government of adopting double standards, they said on one hand it had taken up the matter of Sarbjit Singh, an Indian spy on death row with Pakistan to seek his release on “humanitarian grounds” as claimed by the country’s Foreign Minister, while ironically back at home it was expediting the hanging of Bhullar, Guru and Tamils.
Taking a dig at the Government, they said the death sentence to all was more a political decision than a judicial one. If the government moves on to hang any of them, it would have serious consequences as all of them command respect and sympathy amongst their respective communities. They appealed to the Chief Minister’s of Punjab, Kashmir and Tamil Nadu to take up the matter with the Home Ministry to seek justice for their respective states’ citizens.
“In principle, we reiterate our opposition to [the] death penalty,” they said and added that “although India has not carried out any execution for many years, this unwritten moratorium should be converted into complete abolishment from the Indian statute.”