Gujarat: The eleven men sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 Bilkis Bano gang rape case walked out of the Godhra sub-jail after the government of Gujarat approved their release under its remission policy on Monday, 15 August.
“A committee formed a few months back took a unanimous decision in favour of remission of all the 11 convicts in the case. The recommendation was sent to the state government, and yesterday we received the orders for their release,” said Sujal Mayatra, Panchmahals Collector, who was presiding over the panel, as per PTI.
Visuals of them walking free surfaced on social media on Tuesday, which showed them being felicitated, as locals touched their feet, offered them sweets, and conducted a tilak ceremony.
On 21 January 2008, a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mumbai sentenced the accused to life imprisonment on charges of gang rape and murder of seven members of Bilkis Bano’s family.
The mob had gang-raped Bano while she was pregnant in March 2002, and killed seven members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter, amidst the Godhra violence.
Reacting to the news, Congress spokesperson Dr Shama Mohamed took to Twitter and wrote: “The BJP government is using state machinery not to protect women, but to free rapists. What message is this sending? Is this Beti Bachao Beti Padhao!”