The entire country can see the difference between the words and deeds of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said on August 17, targeting Mr. Modi over the release of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case.
In a tweet, Mr. Gandhi also asked what message is being sent out to the women of the country through such a decision.
“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,” Mr. Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.
Under its 1992 remission policy of convitcs, the BJP government in Gujarat released all the 11 people convicted for the rape of a pregnant woman Bilkis Bano and murder of seven of her family members during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
At a press conference, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera accused the Gujarat government of falsely giving an impression that the remission was granted under a Supreme Court directive.
“The truth is that the Supreme Court merely asked the Gujarat government to decide the matter within three months. It’s an executive decision and not a judicial decision,” Mr. Khera said, adding that “the decision has proven the Prime Minister Modi’s August 15 speech on respecting women has been proven hollow”.
The Congress spokesperson also claimed that since the Bilkis Bano case had been investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Gujarat government had to secure the concurrence of the Centre under Section 345 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) before releasing the convicts.
“We would like to ask the Prime Minister and the Home Minister if they knew that these 11 rapists and murderers were going to be released? And if not, what legal action are they going to take against their government in Gujarat?” asked Mr. Khera.
The Congress spokesperson also questioned the silence of the media and the political parties who had launched a massive campaign during the 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape incident in Delhi.
Without naming the Aadm Admi Party, Mr. Khera took a dig at them. “The party that based its politics on the unfortunate incident of Nirbhaya is silent today. The party that claimed a different kind of politics, are they only to garner votes?” he asked.