Bilkis Bano Case: They Are Brahmins With Good Sanskaar, Says BJP MLA On Released Convicts

Eleven men sentenced to life for gangraping Bilkis Bano and murdering seven of her family members were released on Monday.

Bilkis Bano case

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA, who was on the committee that recommended the remission of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case, has come to the defence of the convicts with the argument that they are Brahmins and have good sanskaar. 

BJP MLA CK Raulji further said in an interview with Mojo Story that he "does not know whether they have or have not committed the crime". 

The 11 of those released on Monday were convicted by a Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in 2008 for the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of seven of her family members during the 2002 Gujarat Riots. They were given life sentences.

"I don't know if they have done or have not done the crime. But there can be an intention too, no? They are Brahmins. They have good sanskaar. It can also be a bad intention to punish them as well," said Raulji in Hindi in a video shared by Mojo Story

Besides Raulji, the committee that recommended the remission of convicts' sentence had another BJP MLA and other BJP-aligned people. 

The other BJP MLA on the panel was Suman Chauhan. 

"Other two members of the committee are — a social worker and former Godhra municipal councillor from the BJP Murli Mulchandani and a worker with the BJP women’s wing Snehaben Bhatia," reported The Hindu.

The comittee was headed by Godhra District Magistrate Sujal Mayatra. It was formed at the directive of the Supreme Court of India, which was acting on the petition of one of the convicts. The Gujarat government ordered the release of the convicts after the panel unanimously recommended their release. 

Earlier, the convicts were welcomed with sweets upon their release, attracting the ire of people on and off social media. 

The release of the convicts has been criticised by the Opposition and lawyers, who argued that convicts with much milder crimes than the Bilkis Bano convicts are still languishing in jails. The Opposition also noted that the release of the convicts is in sharp contrast to the call made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to respect women in his Independence Day speech.