EU opposes death to Bhullar, writes to Chidambaram

The European Union has in a letter to Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram urged the Indian government not to hang Bhullar, sentenced to death for a 1993 car bomb attack in New Delhi that killed 12 people and injured 29, including former Youth Congress leader M.S. Bitta.

Speaking to reporters, German Ambassador Thomas Matussek said they are going to appeal for not executing Bhullar, whose mercy petition was rejected by President Pratibha Patil in May.

He also said the German court that extradited him to India did so erroneously and without the full facts of the case before it.

"Our government together with the European Union is certainly going to make the appeal not to execute the capital punishment," he said here.

"We are principally against capital punishment. We will continue to make this point to an International Court but will not appeal on Bhullar's behalf in an International Court," said Matussek.

"The court in Germany erroneously extradited him. Had we known the full facts of this case, Bhullar would not have been sent back to India," he added.

"The EU high representative Catherine Ashton has written to the home minister," he said.

Bhullar was convicted in 2001 and his mercy petition was pending with the president since January 2003. He was the mastermind of a car bomb attack on Bitta in front of 5, Raisina Road, office of the Youth Congress in New Delhi Sep 11, 1993.

The daring RDX blast in the heart of New Delhi had shocked the nation and prompted Bitta to set up the Anti-Terrorist Front.

Bhullar was deported back to India from Germany in 1995 and has been lodged in the high security ward in the Tihar Jail. He was deported after his application for political asylum was rejected. The decision to deport him was declared illegal by a Frankfurt court two years later.

He was sentenced to death Aug 25, 2001, and the Supreme Court dismissed his special leave petition Dec 27, 2006.

Sikh communities and human rights activists are running a campaign asking that his mercy petition be accepted.

"Ambassadorial level talks will continue to make this point to the Indian government," Matussek said.

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