Asaduddin Owaisi criticises the release of Bilkis Bano rape convicts' releasetext_fields
New Delhi: Asaduddin Owaisi, the chief of AIMIM said the release of 11 men convicted for the gang rape of Bilkis Bano is "appeasement politics" ahead of the state elections in Gujarat.
The 11 men were serving life term for the gang rape of Bano and the murder of her family during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Two months ago, the Centre declared that rape convicts cannot be released as part of the "Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav" celebrations.
But the Gujarat government released the men following its own policy under the Supreme Court's directions in May to consider a remission plea by one of the convicts. The state is gearing up for another election by the end of this year and the BJP is hoping to retain power.
Bilkis Bano was 21 years old and five months pregnant when she was raped on March 3, 2002. Seven of her family members including her toddler daughter were killed. In 2008, a special court sentenced the assailants to life terms. The Bombay High Court upheld the verdict.
Owaisi added that it is more unfortunate as the Prime Minister talked about more power to women from Red Fort on Independence Day. It is sending a wrong message to the Muslim community and sets a wrong precedent, reported NDTV.
Owaisi said the release of rape convicts is a crime committed against Bano. "Fresh wounds are given to Bilkis Bano. I hope good sense prevails in the BJP."
He added that the BJP is completely biased toward people practicing a certain religion. "Why are people in jail for Godhra? They don't care about the rule of law. They are committing a crime again. They have no remorse."