Suffering of Bilkis Bano has been renewed and compounded: NLSIU alumni on remission of sentence of convicts

A statement issued by alumni of NLSIU, Bangalore said that the celebration of the release of the convicts in certain quarters has renewed and compounded the violence and suffering inflicted on Bilkis Bano.
NLSIU
NLSIU

Alumni of National Law School of India University (NLSIU) Bangalore on Tuesday issued a statement on the remission of the sentence of those convicted in the Bilkis Bano case.

On August 15 this year, the Gujarat government freed 11 men sentenced to life in jail in the gangrape and mass murder that took place in the aftermath of the 2002 Godhra riots.

The decision was taken pursuant to the Supreme Court's directions to the Gujarat government to decide on one convict's application for remission. The government formed a panel that recommended the release of all 11 convicts on remission.

The statement issued by 157 alumni expressed shock and sadness at the action of the Gujarat government of releasing criminals, and claimed that it was in contravention of settled law on the matter.

It added that the decision, apart from adversely affecting Bano and her family, has had a chilling effect on the the dignity and safety of all women in India.

"Through such a remission and the subsequent (in certain quarters) celebration of the release, the violence & suffering inflicted on Bilkis Bano has been renewed & compounded manifold," the statement added.

It went on to say that the future of rule of law and upkeep of constitutional morality has been compromised and needs to be set right. Therefore, while calling upon the Supreme Court to do justice in the matter and to send the convicts back to prison, it also called upon the Gujarat government to make amends for its actions.

Furthermore, it appealed to citizens to lend their voices to reassure Bano that they stood with her and her loss.

"While we call upon the Hon’ble Supreme Court to do justice in the matter & send the convicts back to prison, we also call upon the Government of Gujarat which carried out the act of remission to make amends for its actions, as well as all responsible citizens in business, civil society, and academia, to lend their voices to reassure Bilkis Bano that we stand with her and her incalculable loss," it read.

[Read Statement]

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