New Delhi, August 23, 2022 (PPI-OT):Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi flayed the Gujarat government’s decision to release the rape and murder convicts in Bilkis Bano case saying they should have been hanged.

In an interview, Devi, the brutal rape of whose daughter had triggered massive protests in 2013, demanded from the government and the Supreme Court to revoke the remission given to 11 convicts. All convicts, who were set free on 15 August, were sentenced to life imprisonment for gang-raping Bano and killing her 7 family members including her 3-year-old daughter.

“I think that rape convicts should never be released. If they were sentenced to life imprisonment, they should be put behind bars for the whole life. Because, this is not related to a case or a family. This is related to the security of all women. If the criminals involved in such crimes are released, it sends out the wrong message in the society,” said Devi.

She pointed out that lakhs of women in villages and towns are struggling to get justice in the rape cases. Families and parents are fearful to send their women out. This is why these rapists and murderers should not be released. The way the rape and murder convicts were welcomed with sweets and garlanded is not just mockery of the victim Bilkis but also mockery of all rape victims, Devi said urging the Gujarat government to review its order.

Terming the garlanding of convicts “extremely unfortunate”, she said this sends out a message that if one is a man, he is innocent whatever heinous crime he commits. “Those who have rape mentality have drawn a wrong message from this release. If we say in clear words, you have supported rapists,” she said.

Commenting on the statements of BJP MLA CK Raulji that those convicts were Brahmins with good sanskaar, Devi asked if they were having good sanskaar, why then they raped the woman. “Is it written in our constitution that you will be released if you are a Brahmin and Pundit even after committing rape? This is extremely wrong,” she said, pointing out that “you will be punished whoever you are”.

When Devi heard about the release of the convicts, she felt extremely bad. She asked the Bilkis’s family to appeal in the Supreme Court against the remission. “This release is not in the interest of the society,” she asserted. Devi said that these convicts should have been hanged as they raped the pregnant woman and killed his family members.

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