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Bitta Attacks Cong Over Centre's Stand on Bhullar

New Delhi
Bitta Attacks Cong Over Centre's Stand on Bhullar
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

Former Youth Congress chief MS Bitta today took on his own party over Centre's submission in Supreme Court that it had "no problem" with commutation of death sentence of Khalistan terrorist Devinderpal Singh Bhullar, saying a section in the party wanted to finish him "politically".

Bitta, who was targeted of the 1993 bomb blast for which Bhullar was handed death sentence, today said, "I was not defeated by bombs and AK 47s but my own party's political terrorism defeated me."

"This is not a government decision. This is a decision by some leaders of the Congress. I think by supporting Bhullar's case a section in the party wants to finish me politically," said Bitta, who is chairman of All India Anti-Terrorist Front.

He alleged that the decision of not opposing commutation of death sentence to life imprisonment was taken by political leadership.

"The leadership of the Congress has no sympathy for those who lost their lives in the blast. Everybody is worried about Bhullar but not about me or the family of the people who lost their lives in the attack. This is very unfortunate," he said.

Asked whether he will join any other party, Bitta said that he will continue to be in Congress and not defect to any other party.

"I was even offered a ticket by BJP from the West Delhi seat, I could have easily fought and won but I have always been a Congressman and will continue to be one," he said.

Bhullar was convicted and awarded death penalty for triggering a bomb blast in New Delhi in September 1993, which killed nine persons and injured 25 others, including then Youth Congress chief Bitta.

Referring to Delhi government's stand in the Supreme Court last month to commute death sentence of Bhullar to life imprisonment on the ground of his mental illness, Bitta also questioned the authenticity of his health reports.

The Centre told the Supreme Court yesterday that it has "no problem" with commutation of death sentence of Bhullar to life term and the petition in this regard has to be allowed in view of the court's verdict that delay in deciding mercy pleas can be a ground for such relief.

Attorney General G E Vahanvati told the court that he was making the submissions to this effect as the Centre's petition challenging the January 21 judgement, in which it was held that inordinate delay by government in deciding mercy plea of death row convicts can be a ground for commuting their sentence, has been dismissed.

The Supreme Court had on January 31 stayed Bhullar's execution and had agreed to review its judgement by which it had rejected the 1993 Delhi bomb blast convict's plea to commute his death sentence to life term.

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