Germany seeks clemency for Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar

Devinder Pal Singh BhullarDevinder Pal Singh Bhullar

Almost a month after the Supreme Court dismissed convicted Khalistani terrorist Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar's plea that his death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment, German President Joachim Gauck and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle have written to their Indian counterparts seeking clemency for Bhullar.

Bhullar, who was convicted for the 1993 car bomb blast outside the Youth Congress office in the capital in which nine people were killed, was arrested and deported from Germany, a country that advocates worldwide abolition of the death penalty.

While Gauck has written to President Pranab Mukherjee, Westerwelle has sent his missive to External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, the German embassy in New Delhi told The Indian Express Thursday. "As a matter of principle, Germany opposes capital punishment as it does not serve the cause of justice," German ambassador to India, Michael Steiner, said.

The plea from Gauck and Westerwelle came weeks after Bhullar's wife Navneet Kaur met German diplomats at the embassy in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum seeking Germany's intervention to help stop her husband's impending execution.

Canada-based Kaur, accompanied by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee president Manjit Singh GK, had told German diplomats that Bhullar was arrested at Frankfurt airport in December 1994 for travelling on fake documents and Germany had deported him to India in January 1995. But in 1997, a Frankfurt court had termed the deportation "illegal".

"Your government has always taken a stand against awarding of death penalty to Prof Bhullar. We are informed that your government had been assured by the government of India that he will not be given death penalty. Since the President of India had dismissed the first mercy petition, there is imminent threat of immediate execution of Prof Bhullar...We request you to take up this matter with the government of India and the President of India to accept clemency petitions of Prof Bhullar (sic)," the memorandum said.

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