Mahua Moitra reacts as BJP MP, MLA seen on stage with Bilkis Bano's rapist | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Monsters…’: Mahua Moitra after BJP leaders seen on stage with Bilkis Bano's rapist

Mar 27, 2023 06:17 AM IST

Shailesh Bhatt, one of the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape and murder case, was seen on stage with BJP MP Jasvant Sinh Bhabhor and MLA Sailesh Bhabhor.

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Monday took to Twitter to share a picture that allegedly showed one of the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape and murder case sharing the stage with two Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in Gujarat. As per reports, Dahod BJP MP Jasvantsinh Bhabhor and his brother, Limkheda MLA Sailesh Bhabhor, attended the launch of a group water supply scheme along with Shailesh Bhatt, one of the convicted rapists of Bano.

Shailesh Bhatt, Bilkis Bano case convict (L) and TMC MP Mahua Moitra (R). (credits: Twitter, File)
Shailesh Bhatt, Bilkis Bano case convict (L) and TMC MP Mahua Moitra (R). (credits: Twitter, File)

The 11 rapists were released prematurely on Independence Day last year under the state government’s outdated remission policy of 1992. Lashing out at the ruling BJP government’, Moitra called for the imprisonment of the convicts and urged people to vote out the party that supports such ‘travesty of justice’.

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She wrote, “I want to see these monsters back in jail & the key thrown away. And I want this satanic government that applauds this travesty of justice voted out. I want India to reclaim her moral compass.”

On Saturday, Jasvantsinh shared pictures from the government programme and wrote, “At Limkheda taluka of Dahod district, Kadana dam bulk pipeline-based Limkheda group water supply scheme under the estimated amount of 101.89 crore works was laid. In which 43 villages of Limkheda taluka, 18 villages of Singhwad taluka and 3 villages of Jhalod taluka will benefit from this scheme.”

The release of the men has been challenged in the Supreme Court and the case will be heard on Monday by a new bench comprising justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna.

Last month, a bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala assured Bano that a new bench will be formed at the earliest to hear the petitions against their release. A series of petitions have been filed against the release of the rapists in the 2002 case. Notably, Moitra is one of the petitioners.

The 11 men were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2008 for gangraping a five months’ pregnant Bano, who was 21 years old at the time, and murdering seven members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter during the Gujarat riots that followed the attack on Sabarmati Express, in which 59 ‘kar sevaks’ died.

The release of the men was initiated after Radheshyam Shah, one of the convicts, approached SC seeking remission, arguing that he had spent over 15 years in jail in the case. The existing remission policy of 2014 of the Gujarat government has no provision for the early release of rape convicts.

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