AISA, supported by CPI-Marxist-Leninist, and several other organizations staged a protest in Jantar Mantar on Saturday against the release of 11 convicts by the Gujarat government in the Bilkis Bano case.
Activists said the decision to release the 11 convicts with “remission” on August 15 was a slap in the face to the country’s constitutional values and secular fabric.
The protest was also joined by documentary filmmaker Gauhar Raza who recited the nazm “Chand Roz Aur” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
“The pattern from Kathua to Unnao to Hathras to Gujarat is the same – rapists are protected by the government,” the Indian Student Association (AISA) said in a statement.
Kavita Krishnan, national secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), said the early release of the convicts was actually a reward for their “heinous acts”, which was evident in their garlands.
“It was a signal to Gujarat voters that the Gujarat government and the BJP-RSS stood by the rapists and murderers. But I have great confidence in the youths and women of Gujarat that they will defeat this hateful ideology in the upcoming elections,” she said.
Veteran actor Shabana Azmi stressed the need to fight against the onslaught and “fascist” atrocities against women and other marginalized sections.
The event was also joined by several cultural groups who read poems by Habib Jalib and Faiz Ahmad Faiz and sang folk and revolutionary songs.
Bilkis Bano was 21 and five months pregnant when she was gang-raped while fleeing violence that erupted after the Godhra train fire in Gujarat in 2002.
Among those killed was her three-year-old daughter.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)