Felicitation of Bilkis Bano Convicts: Is this Hindu Culture, Asks Shiv Sena

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Just because she is a Muslim that does not mean that atrocities against her, rape and murder of her child is pardonable. Had it been our mother or sister?, reads the article in Saamana.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Saamana, the mouthpiece of Shiv Sena, in an article on Sunday, condemned the release of 11 convicted rapists of Bilkis Bano in Gujarat under the remission policy and the the way they were welcomed after the release and questioned whether felicitation of rapists is a part of Hindu culture?

After their release from the Godhra jail on Monday, the convicts, who were also charged with killing the pregnant Muslim woman’s three-year-old daughter, were welcomed with sweets and garlands outside the jail.

Discussing this shameful release of rapists that too on Independence Day, Saamana asked in the article “Rokhthok”, “Who is Bilkis Bano? Just because she is a Muslim that does not mean that atrocities against her, rape and murder of her child is pardonable. Had it been our mother or sister? We cry out loud when similar atrocities take place in neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh. Then where has our sensitivity gone in the case of Bilkis Bano? Neither the Prime Minister nor our Union Home Minister have spoken a word on this. What is the reason?”

“Rokhthok” was a weekly column of Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut who is presently in jail. Sunday’s column carried the byline, Kadaknath Mumbaikar.

“Whenever Modi would visit Gujarat, he should go to her and extend support. This is not about Hindu-Muslim, but about the soul of Hindutva and pride of our greatest culture. If Bilkis’s rapists are released for the sake of Hindu votes in upcoming Gujarat elections, then this tendency would destroy us,” the article said.

 In the 75th year of Indian Independence, ‘the bell of justice has gone missing,’ the article further said.

Earlier, the article said Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar has said that PM Modi does not practise what he preaches. “The Bilkis case has proven him right,” it added.

Bilkis Bano was 21 years old and five-months pregnant when she was sexually assaulted in Randhikpur village near Ahmedabad on March 3, 2002, while fleeing the violence that broke out in the aftermath of the Sabarmati train incident in Godhra. Her three children were also killed during the anti-Muslim riots.

On January 21, 2008, a special CBI court in Mumbai had sentenced the 11 accused to life imprisonment on the charge of gang-rape and murder of seven members of Bilkis Bano’s family. Their conviction was later upheld by the Bombay High Court.

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