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Home / India / Stunned, deeply anguished: IIM Bangalore faculty on remission of Bilkis convicts

Stunned, deeply anguished: IIM Bangalore faculty on remission of Bilkis convicts

In a letter to CJI, 54 signatories say they are writing in their personal capacity and express 'solidarity with Bilkis and her fight for justice'
IIM Bangalore.
IIM Bangalore.
File photo

Basant Kumar Mohanty   |   New Delhi   |   Published 27.08.22, 02:19 AM

Over 50 faculty members and staff of IIM Bangalore have said they are “stunned and deeply anguished” by the remission granted to the 11 life convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang rape and mass murder case and appealed to the Supreme Court to “respond most urgently” to her “right to live without fear and in peace”.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Justice of India, the 54 signatories said they were writing in their personal capacity and expressed “solidarity with Bilkis and her fight for justice”.

The Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to the Gujarat government’s grant of remission to the 11 convicts, who were serving a life term for gang-raping Bilkis and killing seven members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter, during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

In the letter to the CJI, the 54 signatories said: “The crimes committed by the eleven men granted remission were no ordinary crimes. They were accused and convicted of gang rape and murders of the most depraved and inhumane kind. The Supreme Court itself upheld their conviction in 2008.

“Bilkis Bano, who survived to tell the tale, fought for justice for over seventeen years. This remission is not only a denial of justice but also presents a real and immediate danger to Bilkis Bano and her family. The sympathetic treatment these convicted men have received is shocking. What kind of a nation are we turning into if Bilkis Bano is left to defend herself while her violators are given a hero’s welcome?

“We are stunned and deeply anguished by this act of the Government of Gujarat. We look to our legal system and courts to deliver on the promise we as a nation ‘have solemnly resolved’, ‘to secure to all its citizens: justice, liberty, equality and fraternity’. The horrors that Bilkis Bano underwent in 2002 should not be experienced by any woman anywhere. This remission is bound to embolden perpetrators of such heinous crimes while simultaneously extinguishing the hope of millions of Indians who look up to the courts to deliver justice.

“The Supreme Court must respond most urgently to Bilkis Bano’s right ‘to live without fear and in peace’. As Bilkis poignantly asks, ‘How can justice for any woman end like this?’ We appeal to you, Honourable Chief Justice, to enable us to continue to repose our trust in the Supreme Court.”



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