Eleven convicts, sentenced to life imprisonment in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case from the 2002 Gujarat riots, walked out of the Godhra sub-jail on August 15 after a Gujarat government panel approved their application for remission of sentence. The move sparks resentment from various political and social circles.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asserted that BJP’s support to criminals displays the party’s mindset towards women. He asked Modi, “Are you not ashamed of such politics, Prime Minister ji.”
Telangana IT Minister K T Rama Rao also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revoke the Gujarat government’s remission order of the 11 convicts. He is quoted to have said, “If you had really meant what you spoke about respecting women, I urge you to intervene and rescind the Gujarat government’s order’’.
In another tweet he lamented “This is a Blot on the Collective Conscience of our Nation Rapists being garlanded & treated like war heroes or freedom fighters!!! Remember, what happened to #BilkisBano today can happen to anyone of us tomorrow Speak up India
While demanding justice for Bilkis Bano, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) member of legislative council (MLC) K Kavitha said that she could feel the pain and fear of Bilkis Bano. “The welcome to the rapists and murderers after they were released from jail by some people who follow a certain ideology is a slap on the face of a just society,’’ she tweeted in Hindi. She called for Supreme Court’s intervention and immediate action.
All India Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Lok Sabha (Krishnanagar) Mahua Moitra tweeted “This nation had better decide whether Bilkis Bano is a woman or a Muslim.”
Senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and secretary to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao Smita Sabharwal, expresses shock over the release of 11 convicts in the 2002 gangrape and murder case. She tweeted, “As a woman and a civil servant, I sit in disbelief on reading the news on the Bilkis Bano case. We cannot snuff out her right to breathe free without fear again and call ourselves a free nation.”
Furious over the silence of women folks on the issue, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha from Maharashtra and Deputy Leader of Shiv Sena “It is Bilkis Bano today, it could be you tomorrow. To all the women who are silent I ask – doesn’t this trigger you? Having faced some kind or form of harassment from creeps who think they will get away, will your silence to convicted criminals being let go not embolden them?”
Asking to roll back the decision, Chairperson, Delhi Commission for Women tweeted, “Bilkis Bano’s case is so horrifying -more I think about it, more traumatised I feel. She was gangraped & her family members were killed. Now convicts are free & being welcomed and celebrated for the rape! If this is not emboldening, what is? Guj Govt must roll back it’s decision!”
Award-Winning Journalist Arfa Khanum mocked in her tweet, “Teesta Setalvad is in jail and rapists of Bilkis Bano have walked free. This is Modi’s New India!”
National Spokesperson All India Trinamool Congress Saket Gokhale expressed his disappointment on the silence of BJP on the issue, “Not a single Noida TV channel or BJP supporter will utter a word of protest or shock only because: A. her name was Bilkis Bano B. the year was 2002 & C. the place was/is Gujarat”
Editor, Policy Affairs The Lallantop Noopur Patel deplored the move saying, “Bilkis Bano was 21 years old, and 5 months pregnant when she was sexually assaulted in Ahmedabad while fleeing the violence that broke out post the Sabarmati train incident in Godhra. Her 3 children were killed. Today on India’s 75th Independence Day, her rapists roam free.”
In 2012, whole of India unanimously asked for hanging of Nirbhaya rapists. Today, people who gangraped Bilkis Bano are being walcomed with sweets outside the jail. What changed?
In India, Crime against Muslims is not Crime but Honour.
Speak up india .. we as citizens cannot afford to be silent spectators to this regressive ecosystem..#BilkisBano #justasking