CPI-Marxist-Leninist-backed AISA and several other organisations on Saturday staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar against the release of 11 convicts by the Gujarat government in the Bilkis Bano case.
The activists said that the decision to release the 11 convicts on remission on August 15 was a slap on the constitutional values and secular fabric of the country.
The protest was also joined by documentary filmmaker Gauhar Raza who recited Faiz Ahmed Faizs nazm Chand Roz Aur.
“The pattern from Kathua to Unnao to Hathras and Gujarat is the same – rapists being shielded by the government,” All India Students Association (AISA) said in a statement.
Kavita Krishnan, National Secretary of All India Progressive Womens Association (AIPWA), said the early release of the convicts was actually a reward for their heinous acts, which was evident in their garlanding.
“This was a signal to the voters of Gujarat that the government of Gujarat and BJP-RSS stands with the rapists and murderers. But I have great faith in the youth and women of Gujarat that they will defeat this hateful ideology in the coming elections”, she said.
Veteran actor Shabana Azmi stressed the need to fight the fascist onslaught and atrocities on women and other marginalised sections.
The event was also joined by several cultural groups who read poems by Habib Jalib and Faiz Ahmad Faiz and sang folk and revolutionary songs.
Bilkis Bano was 21 years old and five months pregnant when she was gang-raped while fleeing the violence that broke out after the Godhra train burning in Gujarat in 2002.
Among those killed was her three-year-old daughter.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)