National Politics

Congress Slams Release Of Bilkis Bano Case Convicts, Questions PM

congress slams bjp bilkis bano case
Congress noted that the Gujarat release came hours after Modi spoke of women empowerment in his Independence Day speech.

Mumbai: Congress slammed BJP on Tuesday for releasing 11 people who had been found guilty of rape and murder in the Bilkis Bano case of the 2002 Gujarat riots. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised  “Nari Shakti” in his Independence Day speech, Congress claimed the release was indicative of the BJP’s mentality.

Speaking on behalf of the party, Pawan Khera questioned whether the prime minister’s comments had any significance and demanded that he reveal to the nation whether he truly believed what he said about the safety, respect, and empowerment of women.

“The BJP government in Gujarat released 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case. This decision brings out the BJP government’s mindset,” he told reporters.

He cited the Kathua and Unnao incidents as examples, saying that it is embarrassing for everyone involved in politics when office holders and members of a major political party are seen attending a demonstration in support of rapists.

“Yesterday, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the prime minister spoke big things about women’s safety, women’s power, women’s respect. A few hours later the Gujarat government released those behind the rape. We also saw that the convicts in the rape who were released are being honoured. Is this the Amrit Mahotsav. Who is the real Narendra Modi? The one who serves falsehood from the ramparts of the Red Fort or the one who gets his Gujarat government to release those behind rape. This Congress party and the country want to know,” the Congress leader asked.

He said that in the Bilkis Bano case, the Supreme Court ordered the government of Gujarat to pay her 50 rupees in compensation.

The 11 convicts who left Godhra sub-gaol on Monday were convicted of gang rape of a pregnant woman, murder and unlawful assembly under sections of the Indian Penal Code.
The Gujarat government has authorized their release under its promulgation policy.

A Special Court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Mumbai on 21 January 2008 sentenced the 11 defendants to life imprisonment for the gang rape and murder of seven members of Bilkis Bano’s family.
His conviction was later upheld by the Bombay High Court.


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