INDIA: AKALI DAL PARTY CALLS FOR ABOLITION OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
March 30, 2012: the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) party has called on the government to abolish the barbaric practice of capital punishment, saying that the death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights, and is a premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice.
In a statement issued days after the government stayed the 31 March execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, the party's Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Gujral said that India would do well to follow the example of 96 other countries around the world which have abolished the practice of capital punishment.
Describing India as the land of Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi, whose ideals are cherished by the country's citizens, Gujral said: "The Guru Granth Sahib, the Buddhist tenets and the New Testament all believe that the power to give or take life lies only with God."
Gujral added that the main countries contributing to death penalty are China, Iran, North Korea, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
"India is a democratic nation and we should not give occasion to be bracketed with these countries. I would urge the government to take immediate steps and bring forward a legislation to abolish Capital Punishment from our Statute," he said. (Sources: ANI, 30/03/2012)