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Sikh leaders push for clemency to Rajoana 

New Delhi: A SAD delegation led by its president Sukhbir Singh Badal met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi on Tuesday. The delegation’s meeting with the Home Minister lasted for about an hour in his North Block office.The Home Minister assured the delegation that the government was examining issues raised before it by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). They include constituting a special court for day-to-day trial of 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases and commuting death sentence of terrorist Balwant Singh Rajoana to life sentence. He has been convicted in former Punjab CM Beant Singh assassination case.The delegation comprised of Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur, SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal, DSGMC chief Manjit Singh (GK), MPs Naresh Gujral and Balwinder Singh Bhunder, and former MP Tarlochan Singh.The meeting is a follow up to earlier two meetings of SAD delegation with Singh in the past one month. The Home Minister had assured to hold a joint meeting of Sikh leaders and Home Ministry officials around Independence Day with regard to issues pertaining the community.The delegation batted for grant of citizenship to all Hindus and Sikhs who were forced to leave Afghanistan since 1989. It drew a distinction between illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in Assam and those from Afghanistan who were forced to leave on ground of religious persecution. Also, they sought free passage for devotees from Dera Baba Nanak located on the Indian side to the historical Gurdwara Kartarpur in Pakistan in view of the upcoming 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev.It sought Centre’s intervention for granting minority status to Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir. It also demanded rescinding of the amendment by the Chandigarh administration, which has made it mandatory even for Sikh women wearing turban or headgear to use helmets while riding a two-wheeler and ensuring security of Sikhs in Sikkim.

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