Bilkis Bano rapists Brahmins, have good sanskar: BJP Godhra MLA
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Godhra in Gujarat, CK Raulji sparked a fresh outrage by supporting the 11 men convicted for the rape of Bilkis Bano and released by the Gujarat government after 15 years in prison. Rauji described them as "Brahmins" with "good sanskaar." His statement comes amid widespread outrage over the men's release, which was celebrated with sweets and garlands.
- Bano was 21 years old and five months pregnant when riots erupted in Gujarat following the burning of the Sabarmati express train.
- On March 3, 2002, Bano and her family were attacked by a mob that raped her and slaughtered her family members in Randhikpur hamlet near Ahmedabad.
- Over 1,000 people were reportedly killed in the Gujarat riots in 2002.
"I don't know whether they committed any crime or not. But there has to be the intention of committing a crime," Raulji told Mojo Story. "They were Brahmins and Brahmins are known to have good sanskaar. It might have been someone's ill intention to corner and punish them," he added. Raulji was part of the government panel that unanimously decided to release the rapists.
The Opposition reacted sharply to the comments by Raulji. They said the move is made in contravention of current rules which bar remission for convicts of rape and murder. "BJP now terms rapists as 'Men of Good Sanskar'. This is the lowest a party can ever stoop!" tweeted Y Satish Reddy, the social media convenor of Telangana's ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
“They are Brahmins, Men of Good Sanskaar. Their conduct in jail was good": BJP MLA #CKRaulji— YSR (@ysathishreddy) August 18, 2022
BJP now terms rapists as ‘Men of Good Sanskar’. This is the lowest a party can ever stoop! 🙏 @KTRTRS @pbhushan1 pic.twitter.com/iuOZ9JTbhh
The 11 rape convicts in the Bano case were released on Independence Day, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of women's empowerment from the Red Fort's ramparts. Later, videos of their cordial reception by a right-wing group surfaced. Following the criticism, the Gujarat government defended its decision, claiming that the decision was taken in accordance with a 1992 Supreme Court directive.
Meanwhile, the judge who sentenced the 11 men to life imprisonment asked the court to look into the matter. "The judgment was delivered a long time ago. Now it is up to the government. The state has to make a decision. Whether it is correct or not is for the court concerned or a superior court to see," Justice (retd) UD Salvi said.