The worldwide Sikh community is forming a coalition with governments and NGOs that wish to rid the world of the medieval justice of the death penalty with a specific campaign to end the death penalty in India.
"The 1st step is to put pressure on India to endorse the moratorium at the General Assembly of the UN later this year with a view to exerting sufficient pressure so India completely abolishes the death penalty within 12 months" said Ranjit Singh Masuta, Founder , Gurdwara Sahib, Langenthal, Switzerland while talking to TOI on Monday.
Masuta along with Karan Singh, representative , Mar- Movement Against Atrocities and Repression, Gurdial Singh of Punjab Trust, France, Jagjit Singh of Sikh Society, Italy , Harbans Singh of Sikh National Committee, Italy and Harminder Singh Khalsa , member Gurdwara Sahib Management Committee, Switzerland submitted a memorandum with Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva and Amnesty International on March 23rd urging to intervene to stop the execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana who is facing death sentence in case of assassination of former Chief Minister of Punjab Beant Singh.
Karan Singh said " The announcement of the imminent execution of Balwant Singh comes on the back of the pre-mature release of Kishori Lal, who was awarded 3 separate death penalties for the murder and decapitation of 3 innocent Sikhs with a chopper knife on 1 November 1984"
Jagjit Singh, Sikh Society, Italy said that protests were taking place across Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and India itself. "Politicians in different countries are being encouraged to support the campaign" said he.
Gurdial Singh, Punjab Trust, France said that the protests would culminate in a large Europe-wide demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday 29 March. "Members of the European Parliament from across Europe are expected to join the demonstration and show solidarity with the Sikh community by demanding the time has come for the death penalty in India to come to an end" he said .
Masuta informed that on the directions of Akal Takht, Akhand Path was held at Gurdwara Sahib on March 23rd . He also informed that they had sent a siropa (robe of honour) and hand painting of Gurdwara Sahib made by a local resident Karin Martin for Balwant Singh Rajoana.
(source: The Times of India)