Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana Sunday questioned whether felicitation of rapists is a part of Hindu culture, referring to the recent incident wherein 11 convicted rapists of Bilkis Bano in Gujarat were released under the remission policy and later felicitated upon their release.
“Who is Bilkis Bano? Just because she is a Muslim that does not mean that atrocities against her, rape and murder of her child is pardonable. Had it been our mother or sister? We cry out loud when similar atrocities take place in neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh. Then where has our sensitivity gone in the case of Bilkis Bano? Neither the Prime Minister nor our Union Home Minister have spoken a word on this. What is the reason?” asked Saamana article “Rokhthok”.
“Rokhthok” was a weekly column of Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut. Raut is presently in jail after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Sunday’s column carried the byline, Kadaknath Mumbaikar.
Bilkis Bano was five months’ pregnant when she was gang-raped while fleeing the riots that broke out after the Godhra train burning incident in 2002. Her three-year-old daughter was among the seven killed. The 11 men convicted in the case walked out of the Godhra sub-jail on August 15 after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy.
“Whenever Modi would visit Gujarat, he should go to her and extend support. This is not about Hindu-Muslim, but about the soul of Hindutva and pride of our greatest culture. If Bilkis’s rapists are released for the sake of Hindu votes in upcoming Gujarat elections, then this tendency would destroy us,” the article said.
The article further said that in the 75th year of Indian Independence, ‘the bell of justice has gone missing’.
Earlier, the article said Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar has said that PM Modi does not practise what he preaches. “The Bilkis case has proven him right,” it added.
“It is surprising that the convicts were released when PM Modi spoke of women empowerment in his Independence Day speech,” the article said.
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