CHANDIGARH, Punjab—On March 31st, another Sikh political prisoner will be executed at the hands of the India Government. Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana, who is currently lodged in the Patiala Jail, is serving a sentence for his involvement in the execution of then Chief Minister, Beant Sinh outside the Punjab secretariat in 1995. Although his death sentence was capable of appeal, Bhai Rajoana instead willingly expressed his desire to be put to death instead of showing any faith in the widely acknowledged to be corrupt Indian justice system.
Bhai Rajoana – Guilty of Bringing Mass Murderer to Justice
Although Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana has confessed his involvement in the assassination, it is most important to note that Beant Sinh was responsible for mass genocide of the Sikhs in the 1980s and early 1990s. Beant Sinh misused his powers to terrorize the people of Punjab, killing tens of thousands of innocent Sikhs. Beant Sinh was a close associate of Indira Gandhi and had pledged to wipe the name of Sikhs from the State of Punjab.
It was on August 31, 1995 when Beant Sinh was executed outside the Punjab Secretariat for his crimes against humanity. Shaheed Bhai Dilawar Singh Babbar acted as a human bomb to eliminate the mass murderer and rid Punjab of further genocide against innocent civilians. According to court findings, Bhai Balwant Singh was good friends with Shaheed Bhai Dilawar Singh Babbar. He allowed for meetings to take place at his residence and also worked to arrange for clothing and the car that was used in the assassination plot. He, along with Babbar Khalsa Chief Bhai Jagtar Singh Hawara, was found “guilty” of masterminding the execution of Beant Sinh, CM. Four others were also declared guilty by the court in this case.
Denies Faith in Indian Justice; Upholds Own Execution
Ever since being awarded capital punishment, Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana has refused to appeal his court sentence. In a letter written to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana expressed that he has no faith in the Indian Judiciary. He mentions that the Indian Judicial System does not apply to the killers of countless Sikhs; therefore he has no belief in such a system. It should be noted that upon being asked several times, Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana refused to utilise the services of a lawyer and also declined to cross-examine any of the witnesses.
In the same letter, Bhai Balwant Singh writes that Indian Justice has allowed the Harimandir Sahib to be attacked and the Akal Takht Sahib to be reduced to rubble, without taking action against those that instigated such attacks on the Sikh religion. Bhai Balwant Singh also writes that along with Sikhs, Muslims and Christians have also suffered at the hands of the corrupt Indian Government but no one has sentenced those responsible for genocide against minority communities.
Panth’s Jathedar and Leaders Fail to Secure Life of Bhai Rajoana
None of the Panth’s Jathedars has shown interest in safeguarding the life of a Sikh who is responsible only for helping to plan the execution of a mass murderer who would not let up on his genocide campaign. Had any Sikh leader wished well for the community, they would have worked to bring mass murderers of the Sikh community to justice and have Sikh freedom fighters released from the Jails of India.
Similarly, none of Punjab’s eminent politicians have also shown the courage to back up the demand of Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana’s release. Notably, his death sentence will be the first blow to the Khalsa Panth after the re-election of Parkash Badal as Punjab’s Chief Minister.
The Last Desire of a Noble Sikh
It is without a doubt to any Sikh that Bhai Balwant Singh is not guilty of any crime, but worthy of an honor for stopping a mass murderer in his tracks. Just like Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana bestowed life to the people of Punjab by planning the assassination of Beant Sinh, his nobility came to light in the form of his last will.
In his will, Bhai Balwant Singh expressed no desire to live, but to allow others to experience life. In the form of an appeal to then Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib, on June 17, 2008 Bhai Balwant Singh expressed his desire to donate his eyes to Hazoori Ragi Bhai Lakhwinder Singh, a soorma Singh (blind at birth). Bhai Rajoana expressed that he wishes to always have the sight of Sri Harimandir Sahib. If such is not possible for any reason, his eyes could be donated to anyone else. He also expressed his desire to donate all parts of his body to cure others.
Final Destination – Example for Generations to Come
“My comrades died in the hope that I share their sorrow; if I keep quiet then their souls would not rest in peace and haunt me continuously.” Note by Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana found in Ambassador Car parked outside the Punjab Secretariat. This car was probably used by Shaheed Bhai Dilawar Singh Babbar to reach his final destination.
In a similar courageous fashion, on March 31st, another brave son of Guru Gobind Singh Ji will give up his life for the cause of the Khalsa Panth—but the freedom movement against tyranny and oppression will continue. Bhai Rajoana’s execution will set another example for the Sikhs to fight against injustice.