BJP MLA from Godhra CK Raulji on Thursday made a shocking comment while speaking about the 11 men convicted for the rape of Bilkis Bano. They were released on Independence day by the Gujarat government.
Rauliji said that the convicts are “brahmins and have good sanskaar.” The MLA, incidentally, is part of the two-person BJP team who were part of the Gujarat government panel that unanimously decided to release the rapists.
“I don’t know whether they committed any crime or not. But there has to be the intention of committing a crime,” the MLA said. “They were Brahmins and Brahmins are known to have good sanskaar. It might have been someone’s ill intention to corner and punish them,” he added.
Bilkis Bano was 21 years old and five months pregnant when she was gang raped while fleeing the violence that broke out post the Sabarmati train burning incident in Godhra. Seven members of her family were killed during the 2002 post-Godhra riots.
After their release on completion of more than 15 years in jail, the convicts, who were also charged with killing the pregnant Muslim woman’s three-year-old daughter, were welcomed with sweets and garlands outside the prison.
A special CBI court in Mumbai in 2008 sentenced the 11 accused to life imprisonment on the charge of gang rape and murder of seven members of Bilkis Bano’s family. Their conviction was later upheld by the Bombay High Court.