Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 17
The district court here today sentenced Jagtar Singh Tara to life imprisonment till natural death for assassinating former Chief Minister Beant Singh in 1995. He has also been directed to pay Rs 25,000 as fine.
Amid tight security and presence of Tara’s family members and supporters, the sentenced was pronounced inside the Model Jail in Burail, where a special court was set up.
While Tara expressed satisfaction at the sentence, he told the court that he did not regret killing the former Chief Minister, but he did regret that 16 innocent people were also killed in the bomb blast outside the Chandigarh secretariat on October 31, 1995.
Central Bureau of Investigation counsel SK Saxena said they had pleaded for a death sentence for Tara, calling it a “rarest of the rare case”.
He said: “We had also pleaded that in case death sentence is not awarded, life imprisonment without remission should be given.” The court, however, refused to consider it as a “rarest of the rare case”.
A total of eight family members from Tara’s native village in Ropar district were present when the sentence was pronounced.
They said they were satisfied with the decision of the court and so was Tara.
Tara was arrested on September 13, 1995, from Delhi. However, along with two other accused in the case — Jagtar Singh Hawara and Paramjeet Singh Bheora — he had escaped from the Burail jail by digging a 100-ft tunnel in 2004. In January 2010, Tara was again arrested from Thailand.