Skip to main content

Bilkis case: When those who greet criminals with garlands are exonerated of crime

By Vikas Parasram Meshram 

While ruling on Bilkis Bano's plea against the amnesty granted to the gang rape and murder perpetrators, the Supreme Court categorically termed the amnesty granted to the 11 criminals as fraudulent and termed the Gujarat government's act as an attempt to encroach on justice. 
According to the Supreme Court's decision, even if the eleven rape and murder accused get some leniency in their sentences, it will come under the purview of the Maharashtra government and not the Gujarat government, where the court handed down the sentences.
Notably, the convict, serving a life sentence, was found guilty of 'inhumane crimes' in the 2002 Gujarat riots. In the background of the court's decision, these criminals are now likely to try to get relief from their punishment from the Maharashtra government.
It is also known that a year and a half ago, the Gujarat government used its powers to free these criminals from their punishment, when these accused were released from jail, and were welcomed publicly by garlanding them; not only that, organizations like Vishwa Hindu Parishad hailed them as heroes. 
The mindset of honoring those who gang-raped a pregnant woman and killed seven members of her family, including Bilkis' 3-year-old daughter, is questionable in our society today.
The court has done its job, such examples of rule of law will be seen in the future. Bilkis Bano, who is fighting for justice, has also received support in the country. It is expected that similar help will continue to be given to the victims in the future as well. But it begs the question how and why the mentality of supporting criminals thrives in a society that believes in the rule of law. 
When these eleven criminals came out of jail a year and a half ago, why should those who greeted them with garlands not realize that they are terrible criminals? They cannot be exonerated from the charge of criminal mentality. There is a need today to raise voice against this mindset. 
Gang rape is considered a 'crime against humanity' under international law. In any civilized society such crime should be punished. At the same time, criminals are also the ones who support and glorify such crimes, which is terrible for a civilized society.
A few months ago, a heinous act was witnessed in Manipur. There, women were stripped naked and taken out on the streets and molested, and a section of the society watched as spectators. It is true that this behavior is no less than the crime of rape. It is not known when those unfortunate women of Manipur will get justice. But it begs the question why there is no discussion of punishing the criminals who give silent support to such crimes.
Who are they who welcomed Bilkis Bano and her family's abusers after they came out of jail? These eleven men were released from prison without acquittal, exempted from punishment under the pretext of 'good behaviour', so they got out. It is true that there is a provision for this leniency in our country, but isn't it also true that there are some crimes for which such leniency in punishment should not be allowed? 
Rape is a heinous crime, gang rape is a bigger crime and murder after rape is a bigger crime! Prudence demands that if such offenders are granted any exemption during their jail term in the name of 'good behaviour', it should be enquired.
Whether they are abusing women on Manipur streets or saluting the perpetrators of rape and murder, these people tarnish humanity
The question is also that if the criminal does not express remorse for his actions, if he does not feel that he has committed a crime and not a mistake, how can his behaviour be placed in the category of good behaviour? Isn't it a reality that women like Bilkis Bano have to live under the constant shadow of terror? 
Are they under constant pressure to withdraw complaints? The fact is, in the last year and a half, since these criminals came out of jail with rewards for their so-called good behavior, Bilkis Bano has not been able to sleep peacefully?
Now after the decision of the Supreme Court, Bilkis Bano has said through her lawyer that it is as if a big mountain has been lifted from her chest. For the first time in a year and a half, she shed tears of joy as she hugged her children. It is no less important for Bilkis to say, 'I am grateful to the Supreme Court for giving me, my children and all women the right to equal justice.' 
Bilkis Bano also expressed her gratitude to hundreds of people like her. who stood by him in court battles. She is also indebted to the crores of people of the country whose sympathy she has received. There are people in our country who take pride in standing up against injustice. But what about those who take pride in doing injustice or supporting injustice?
Supporting criminals should be a matter of shame. Such shame defines a civilized society. Whether they are abusing women on the streets of Manipur or saluting the perpetrators of rape and murder, these people tarnish humanity. A sense against crime should be created in the society, for that every possible effort should be made at every level. Not only does law provide punishment, society can also curb criminal elements.

Comments

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.