Fri, 19 Aug 2022 09:23 PM IST
Writer Javed Akhtar has slammed the Gujurat government over the decision of releasing 11 men who were convicts in the case related to Bilkis Bano's gang rape and killing of her family members. All 11 convicts were sent behind the bars and were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002. However, on August 15, the 11 convicts walked out of the Godhra sub-jail.
Expressing his opinion on the decision, Javed took to Twitter and wrote, “Those who raped a 5-month pregnant woman after killing 7 of her family including her 3-year-old daughter were set free from the jail offered sweets and were garlanded. Don’t hide behind whatabouts. Think !! Something is seriously going wrong with our society.”
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Those who raped a 5 month pregnant woman after killing 7 of her family including her 3 year old daughter were set free from the jail offered sweets and were garlanded . Don’t hide behind whatabouts . Think !! Some thing is seriously going wrong with our society .— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) August 19, 2022
On Monday, the 11 accused including Radheshyam shah, Jaswant Chaturbhai Nai, Keshubhai Vadaniya, Bakabhai Vadaniya, Rajibhai Soni, Rameshbhai Chauhan, Shaileshbhai Bhatt, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Govindbhai Nai, Mitesh Bhatt, Pradip Modhiya walked out of the Godhra sub-jail. After the release, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad office greeted all the 11 convicted with garlands.
All the 11 convicts were released by the Gujarat government under its remission policy, a move that has come under immense scrutiny. As soon as the convicts were released from jail, harsh criticism and condemnation poured in from social activists, historians, and bureaucrats. Social activists also urged Supreme Court to revoke the release of convicts. People also called the early remission a 'grave miscarriage of justice', and urged the Supreme Court to revoke the pre-mature release of the convicts.
What was Bilkis Bano Case?
In March 2002, during the post-Godhra riots, Bano was allegedly gang-raped and left to die with 14 members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter. She was five months pregnant when rioters attacked her family in Vadodara.
A special CBI court in Mumbai had on January 21, 2008, sentenced to life imprisonment all the 11 accused in the case for the murder of seven family members of Bilkis Bano, a riots survivor, and her gang rape. Their conviction was later upheld by the Bombay High Court.
These convicts served more than 15 years in prison, after which one of them approached the Supreme Court with a plea for his premature release.
(With agency inputs)