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Khushbu's remark on Bilkis Bano case convicts' release welcomed; BJP explains: after due process of law

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Khushbus remark on Bilkis Bano case convicts release welcomed; BJP explains: after due process of law
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Actor-turned-politician and BJP leader, Khushbu Sundar, Image source:  https://nationalchronicle.in

Chennai: BJP member Khushbu Sundar's tweet against the release of men involved in rape has set off a series of reactions and debate.

However, unable to either disown her or support a decision of the BJP-led Gujarat government, her party the BJP on Thursday took the line that the release of 11 convicts by Gujarat in the Bilkis Bano case was as per law and there was absolutely no politics involved.

A leading women's outfit said it was time for persons like Khushbu to introspect, adding secular, democratic forces are the right destination to fight for women's honour and rights.

National president of BJP's women's wing Vanathi Srinivasan said that through her tweet, Sundar has conveyed that injustice must not befall on women and there is absolutely no second opinion about that.

In this specific matter of release of 11 convicts by Gujarat, the due process of law was followed and the state government took a decision following the recommendations of a committee that made a complete scrutiny of each and every case, she said.

This process was following a Supreme Court directive on a petition filed by a convict. "The (Gujarat) government followed due process of law. They were not released for political reasons," Srinivasan told PTI. However, no spokesperson of BJP explained the merits or otherwise of the decision in releasing 11 convicts punished for rape and murder.

Khushbu had tweeted: "A woman who is raped, assaulted, brutalised and her soul scarred for life must get justice. No man who has been involved in it should go free. If he does so, it's an insult to humankind and womanhood. #BilkisBano or any woman, needs support, beyond politics n ideologies. Period."

The tweet won her votaries including Congress' Shashi Tharoor who tweeted on Friday "Hear hear, @khushsundar! Proud to see you standing up for the right thing, rather than the right wing," he said retweeting the post of Ms Sundar, a former Congress leader.

All eleven convicts, who were facing life imprisonment in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case, were granted an early release by the Gujarat government earlier this month. Criticising the move that was widely slammed by opposition parties, Ms Sundar said such incidents are an "insult to humankind and womanhood".

Also, the actor had posted related tweets subsequently. In one of the tweets, Sundar said: "And it's the same party that takes pride in partying for convenience that supported & rejoiced remission release of #Perarivalan by #DMK. Rules are applied differently for Congress in different states for personal gains & dirty games...."

CPI General Secretary D Raja wondered if there is unanimity in the views expressed by Khushbu Sundar and Vanathi Srinivasan.

The Supreme Court agreeing to hear a petition challenging the Gujarat government's remission of 11 convicts is the first vindication that their release is unacceptable, he told PTI..

State General Secretary of All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) Suganthi said: "We are terribly shocked by their release. Whether it is Khushbu or any other woman member in the BJP, time has come for them to introspect. We wonder if they are in the BJP only after understanding its ideology." She alleged that the BJP's ideology believed in the 'Manu Dharma,' which did not bestow rights on women

A former RSS office-bearer, who did not want to be named said that Sundar had last year staunchly opposed a Saffron party man's remark against Congress leader Sonia Gandhi as it was in bad taste. The actress, who joined the BJP in 2020, had then defended Gandhi.

Several people have raised questions in the social media on why Sundar continued in the BJP, as the Gujarat government headed by the party recently released the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case.

On August 15, all the 11 convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 case of Bilkis Bano's gang rape and murder of her seven family members during the communal riots walked out of the Godhra sub-jail after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy.

(Based on PTI feed)

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TAGS:Shashi TharoorBilkis Bano caseKhushbu Sundar11 convicts' release by GujaratDue process oflawSupreme Court direction
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