Javed Akhtar is furious at decision to set Bilkis case convicts free: ‘Think! Some things are seriously wrong’

Javed Akhtar has reacted with furious words to Gujarat government’s decision to release 11 convicts in the case relating to Bilkis Bano gang-rape and murder of her kin case during the 2002 riots in the state. Javed, an acclaimed lyricist, took to Twitter to share his opinion on the matter.

“Those who raped a 5 month pregnant woman after killing 7 of her family including her 3 year old daughter were set free from the jail offered sweets and were garlanded . Don’t hide behind whatabouts. Think!! Some thing is seriously going wrong with our society,” Javed wrote in his tweet.

The Gujarat government released the 11 convicts after the Supreme Court directed it to consider their plea for relief under the state’s 1992 remission policy. A special CBI court in Mumbai had on January 21, 2008, sentenced to life imprisonment all the 11 accused in the case for murder of seven family members of Bilkis Bano, a riots survivor, and her gang rape. Their conviction was later upheld by Bombay High Court. These convicts served more than 15 years in prison after which one of them approached the Supreme Court with a plea for his premature release. The apex court had directed the Gujarat government to look into the issue of remission of his sentence as per its 1992 policy on the basis of the date of his conviction. Thereafter, the government formed a committee which took the decision to allow release of all the convicts.

On March 3, 2002, Bilkis Bano’s family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village in Limkheda taluka of Dahod district. Bilkis, who was five months pregnant at the time, was gang raped and seven members of her family were killed during the riots triggered by the Godhra train burning incident.

(With PTI inputs)

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