Punjab has come to a standstill after a Chandigarh sessions court on Tuesday ruled the hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana, who is convicted in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.
About 60,000 Punjab police personnel and 15 companies of para-military forces have been deployed in various parts of the state as several Sikh organizations have called for state-wide bandh on Wednesday.
Security has been beefed up around the Central Jail at Patiala, where Rajoana is lodged, and prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been imposed in several places.
Meanwhile, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)- BJP government and the Congress in the state have demanded clemency. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said that he would meet the President to make sure that no action is taken until the High Court passes its final verdict on the case.
A Chandigarh sessions court on Tuesday ruled the hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana on March 31 for his role in the assassination of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh.
The court also has slapped contempt of court case on Lakhwinder Singh Jhakkar, the Jail Superintendent of Patiala prison, for refusing to hang him earlier. He had moved court seeking deferment of Rajoana's death sentence.
Even as the political parties and the family of the deceased have favoured clemency, Rajoana has declined it by saying that they are playing politics with his death.
Rajoana was the substitute suicide bomber in case his associate Dilawar Singh failed to kill the former chief minister.
A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court had earlier awarded death sentence to Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara, the mastermind of the August 31, 1995 assassination.