Regretting the Gujarat government decision to release the perpetrators of crimes against humanity on remission, the Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace called it a totally unthinkable and unacceptable deed.
The Forum of Religions for Justice and Peace (FORUM) issued a statement to express solidarity with Bilkis Bano and her family. In a statement issued to the media, the forum said the brutality she and her dear ones were subjected to 20 years ago and the immense suffering defies human sensibilities.
Terming the atrocities perpetrated on Bilkis Bano and her family members a crime against humanity, the statement condemned the release of her tormentors on remission. It said those who gang-raped her and butchered her family members including her three-year-old daughter in cold blood deserve no mercy.
Expressing anguish over what Bilkis has gone through in the aftermath of the incident, the forum laud her indomitable courage and her relentless struggle for justice as a result of which eleven of the perpetrators of the heinous crimes were awarded life imprisonment. They regretted the Gujarat government’s decision to release them prematurely.
“In a totally unthinkable and unacceptable deed, these eleven criminals (all gang-rapists and murderers) were set free by the Gujarat Government through an act of remission, on 15 August 2022, India’s Independence Day, the day on which Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke passionately on ‘naari shakti’ and the need for respecting women. We, the FORUM, unequivocally condemn this biased, unjustified and unwarranted release,” the release asserted.
“We join in the national and international outrage and demand that all of them are sent back to prison immediately and unconditionally,” it added.
The forum called on the Central and state governments and the judiciary to undo the damage done to the justice system through the act of remission in the case expeditiously. It demanded comprehensive security for Bilkis and her family.
The forum made an appeal to the citizens of the country to come out visibly and vocally in support of Bilkis and to ensure that our country and the future of our children is not in the hands of rapists and murderers.