The criticism of the central government’s decision to approve the early release of 11 convicts sentenced to life for the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her seven family members is getting stronger by the day. One of the convicts, Mitesh Chimanlal Bhatt, is accused of outraging a woman’s modesty while out on parole in June 2020. The trial in the case is still pending.
One of the convicts, Mitesh Chimanlal Bhatt, is accused of committing an offence of outraging a woman’s modesty under Section 354 of the IPC while he was out on parole and the trial of the case is pending.
The information was provided to the District Magistrate Dahod by the district superintendent of police (SP) when the state government was considering the proposal to release the 11 convicts, including Mitesh Chimanlal Bhatt on remission.
On Monday, the Gujarat government told the Supreme Court that the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case were released since they had completed 14 years in prison and their behaviour was found to be good, and also the Centre approved their release.
The incident took place on June 19, 2022, at 9.15 hours. The affidavit also mentioned the total time Mitesh spent out of jail on parole and furlough before his release amounted to two and a half years till May 25. And after he was booked under Section 354, he spent 281 days outside the jail.
TMC MP Mahua Moitra, one of the petitioners against the release of the convicts, asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers Amit Shah and Pralhad Joshi to define “good behaviour”.
On August 15, all 11 convicts walked out of the Godhra sub-jail after serving a jail term of 18 years, after the Gujarat government granted them remission from life imprisonment. They were sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 post-Godhra Bilkis Bano gang-rape case.
On March 3, 2002, seven members of Bilkis Bano’s family were murdered by a violent crowd in Limkheda taluka of Dahod district, in aftermath of the Godhra Train burning case in Gujarat. 19-year-old Bilkis was gang-raped while she was five months pregnant.