THE Indian government had worked with the government of Gujarat state to fast-track the release of 11 men serving life terms for raping a Muslim woman, Bilkis Bano, and killing her family in 2002, according to NDTV.

A minister, defending the decision, said: “When the government and the concerned people have taken the decision, I don’t find anything wrong in it as it is a process of law.”

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi said “there is a provision” for release of convicts who have spent “quite some time” in jail.

The move had sparked outrage among opposition circles, with legal experts questioning the application of the law for premature release to convicts sentenced for a “heinous, grave and serious” crime.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had condemned the Bharatiya Janata Party over the decision, saying the BJP had confirmed a notion that it was an “anti-women” party.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2022

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