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Mainstream, VOL 60 No 44 October 22, 2022

On revelations on Bilkis Bano convict release affair - Socialist Party (india) Press Release | Oct 20, 2022

Friday 21 October 2022

Press Release

Gangster State India

This week’s not-so-surprising plot-twist revelation in the Bilkis Bano convict release affair, in response to a Supreme Court petition filed by several parties including Mahua Moitra, Subhashini Ali, Revati Laul, and Lucknow based 79-year old philosophy professor Rekha Roop Verma, are the contents of the government’s affidavits to the court.

These show that that the Central Government, in yet another tone-deaf display of brazenness, and in stark opposition to the recommendations of not releasing these convicts by Superintendent of Police, CBI, Special Crime Branch and the Special Civil Judge (CBI), City Civil and Sessions Court - Home Minister Mr Amit Shah decided to release them anyway. These convicts have spent nearly 4 years out on parole during their jail time, and to add insult to injury, at least 2 of the convicts have additional FIRs slapped on them during their time out – unsuprisingly for sexual assault !

If there’s anything that confirms India’s depressing third-world tinpot-dictator out-of-control gangster state status, the repellent release of Bilkis Bano’s convicted-for-life rapists from jail qualifies as Exhibit #1. For starters, the Gujarat satrapi state in a signature ’chamcha’ move stacked the jail advisory committee with BJP blowhards which duly stuck its thumb at the trial court’s prior negative opinion, against the Union government’s own guidelines on remission policy and voted for the release of the convicts. This act of utter brazenness and judicial defiance was followed by shameful verbal calisthenics on the part of the BJP apologists and advisory panelists. Worth recalling is that they are justifying monsters convicted of the gangrape of a then-pregnant woman. Those serving time also murdered her three year old daughter and killed 14 members of her family.

This case has attracted more than the usual media furore - civil rights groups and politicians reacted with justified outrage, the international media weighed in, and some even called out the media-averse strongman, Nirbhaya’s mother reacted with justifiable disgust, there was a even a bit of feet-on-the-street. Bilkis Bano herself wondered if this is how justice ends. As one astute politician perceptively put it, are the nation’s pliable majoritarian masses against Muslims or women ?

The SPI strongly and unequivocally condemns the illegal release of these convicts. SPI believes that the Minister of Home Affairs’s decision is a clear and abhorrent abuse of law and judicial contempt and this calls for

1. The SC to immediately take suo-moto recognition and put these felons back in jail where they belong.

2. The SC to suo-moto instruct law enforcement agencies to charge and arrest the home minister Mr Amit Shah of breaking the law and illegally abusing his office for political gain.

This episode is truly at the limits of righteous moral outrage of Indians of all persuasions. It tests our collective ability to accept whatever the government does, however brazen it might be. You see, they are not just after Muslims or women. They are after us. Bilkis Bano is just in the way.

Manjoo Mohan, Vice President, Socialist Party (India), 9971526169, manjoosmohan[at]gmail.com

Advocate Jaya Vindhyala, General Secretary, Socialist Party (India), 9440430263, jaya_pucl[at]yahoo.com

Dr. Shuchita Kumar, President, Socialist Mahila Sabha, 9810319758, shuchitakumar[at]gmail.com

Dr. Peehu Pardesi, Secretary, SP(I), 9833804545, peehu20[at]gmail.com

Amita Buch, President, Socialist Party (India), Gujarat, 9925039160, amitabuch[at]gmail.com

Surekha Adam, Member, National Committee, SP(I), 7972050287, surekhaa46[at]gmail.com

Sagarika Banerjee, Member, National Committee, SP(I), 9903740458, tarusagar[at]yahoo.com

Nuzhat Siddiqui, President, Socialist Mahila Sabha, U.P., 9198634627

Advocate Jija James, Member, SP(I) Kerala State Committee, 9400682202, jjmkmalavika[at]gmail.com
Ajanta Sarkar, Member, SP(I) West Bengal State Committee, 6291143725, sarkarajanta65[at]gmail.com

Supriya Joshi, Social Media Incharge, SP(I), 7521872220, supriya.jo2[at]gmail.com

(Drafted by Venkatesh Narayanan, email.venkatesh.narayanan[at]gmail.com)

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