Bathinda, Punjab: The Supreme Court’s judgment on long-pending mercy petitions has rekindled hopes of relatives of death-row convict Devinderpal Singh Bhullar.
The relatives, who are based at Bhullar’s native village, Dialpura Bhai Ka, in Bathinda district, expressed their gratitude not only towards the judiciary but also towards the Punjab and central governments.
Ironically, Bhullar’s kin had criticised the judicial system after a Supreme Court bench last year declined to accept delay in deciding his mercy petition as a ground to exempt him from death sentence.
“It is a pleasant surprise for us. We had lost all hope after the previous judgment on Bhullar’s mercy petition,” Ranjit Singh Bhullar, the convict’s nephew, told HT on the phone.
He added, “We thank everyone who contributed to the struggle to save Bhullar from the gallows.”
Bhullar’s house in the village remains locked as his wife, brother and mother live abroad and rarely pay a visit here.
“We have learnt to live with this locked house. But now we hope that life will return to this place if Bhullar is allowed to walk free,” said Bhullar’s cousin Mukhtiar Singh, who claimed that his legs were damaged in police torture during the time when Bhullar’s father Balwant Singh disappeared in the early 1990s. Mukhtiar added, “We are extremely happy. The family has suffered a lot. Bhullar should be given the opportunity to live a normal life.”
“After getting the news from TV channels, Bhullar’s US-based younger brother Jaswinder Singh informed me on the phone that he would come to India along with his mother Upkar Kaur. Bhullar’s wife Navneet Kaur is based in Canada. I have not talked to her yet,” said Gurmail Singh, a distant relative. He added, “People of various communities, including Hindus and Muslims, have supported Bhullar. We are thankful to them.”