Crime & Justice

Indian Supreme Court overturns remission of 11 convicted of gang-rape

New Delhi, Jan 8 (EFE).- The Supreme Court of India on Monday set aside the remission of 11 people convicted of the gang-rape of a Muslim woman and the killing of her family during religious disturbances in western India.

The 11 convicts were released by the government of Gujarat – the state where the communal riots had taken place in 2002 – despite being sentenced to life imprisonment.

In May 2022, the state government had allowed the early release of those sentenced for the rape pf Bilkis Bano and the brutal murder of her family.

The apex court overruled the remission order considering that the state of Gujarat was not the “appropriate government” to decide the issue of remission as the trial was held in the state of Maharashtra and that the former was incompetent in this matter.

“The orders of remission has to be quashed. The competency of the State of Gujarat goes to the heart of the matter,” said presiding judge BV Nagarathna, according to the specialized media Live Law.

The violence against Bano and her family occurred in February 2002, when a series of interreligious riots broke out in Gujarat following the death of 59 Hindu pilgrims during a train fire, of which Muslim extremists were accused.

A wave of violence broke out against the Muslim community across the state that resulted in the killing of a thousand people, mostly members of the Muslim minority.

Bano was pregnant when she was raped, while her daughter and six other family members were killed as they tried to hide from the violence.

For more than two decades, Gujarat has been governed by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who in 2002 was the head of state government, and who was accused on numerous occasions of not doing enough to prevent the massacres. EFE

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