11 convicts in Gujarat gang rape, murder cases freed in India

AFP
August 17, 2022

NEW DELHI: Eleven men serving life imprisonment for gang rape and murders during the 2002 Gujarat riots have been freed, Indian media reports said.The 11 convicts in what came to be known as the...

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NEW DELHI: Eleven men serving life imprisonment for gang rape and murders during the 2002 Gujarat riots have been freed, Indian media reports said.

The 11 convicts in what came to be known as the Bilkis Bano case were freed on Monday from jail in Gujarat’s Godhra town after the state government approved their application for remission of sentence, said the reports.

An anti-Muslim pogrom happened in 2002 after a train carrying many Hindu pilgrims caught fire, killing 59 people. Hindu right-wing groups blamed the local Muslims for the incident.

In the retaliatory violence that went on for days, nearly 2,000 people, most of them Muslims, were hacked, shot and burned to death in the western state, one of India’s richest. Hundreds of women were raped.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the state’s chief minister at the time and has been accused of not doing enough to stop the killings and even targeting human rights defenders fighting for the victims.

In one of the most horrific episodes of large-scale anti-Muslim violence, Bilkis Bano was gang raped and her three-year-old daughter Saleha was among 14 people killed by a Hindu crowd on March 3, 2002, in Limkheda area of Dahod district in Gujarat.



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