Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the release of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case and said the entire country is seeing the difference between his words and deeds.
He asked what message is being sent out to the women of the country through such decisions.
On Independence Day, the BJP government in Gujarat released all the 11 people convicted for the rape of a pregnant Bilkis Bano and murder of seven of her family members during the 2002 Gujarat riots, under its remission policy.
Explainer: Recalling Bilkis Bano | Horrifying rape and murder case that shook India
“Those who raped a five-month pregnant woman and killed her three-year-old daughter were released during Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. What message is being given to the women of the country by those who peddle lies about Nari Shakti?
“Prime Minister ji, the entire country is seeing the difference between your words and deeds,” Rahul said in a tweet in Hindi.
The convicts in the Bilkis Bano case were welcomed with sweets and garlands after they stepped out of the Godhra sub-jail in Gujarat after 15 years.
AITUC women’s forum slams move
Meanwhile, the All India Working Women Forum of AITUC has registered a strong condemnation of the release of the convicts.
“The release that was recommended by the committee under the Gujarat remission policy is in violation of the Union government’s guidelines for remission,” it said in a statement. “These guidelines exclude those who are convicted for rape and murder for the benefit of remission.They, in any yardstick, do not deserve consideration for early release.”
“AIWWF-AITUC, while condemning the release, very strongly urges upon the Union government to intervene to withdraw the release of these convicts — rapists and murderers,” it added.
The AIWWF-AITUC statement pointed out a “weird dichotomy of sorts” in the action. “The Prime Minister, in his Independence Day address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, talks of respecting narishakthi, on the same day his own party-led government releases the rapists,” said the statement.