Social Media experienced an uproar when a BJP MLA and an MP were seen sharing a stage with one of the 11 men who were responsible for gangraping Bilkis Bano during the Gujarat Riots.
On the occasion of India’s independence day in 2022, 11 convicts were released from jail prematurely. The release of the convicts met with severe criticism and the decision was also challenged in the Apex Court, where the hearing will take place soon.
— Himanshi Dahiya (@himansshhi) March 26, 2023
In the Karmadi Village of Dahod district in Gujarat, a group water supply scheme event was organised. The images which have become public from that event show the presence of Shailesh Chimanlal Bhatt on the stage. He was seen sharing the stage with Dahod MP Jasvant Sinh Bhabhor and his brother, Limkheda MLA Sailesh Bhabhor.
Shailesh Bhatt was not just present on the stage as an onlooker, but he even posed for pictures with the Parliamentarians and also took part in the Puja.
Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra attacked the BJP over the issue through her Twitter. She also demanded that the rapists be back in Jail and termed the government ‘Satanic’.
Bilkis Bano's Rapist Shares Stage With Gujarat's BJP MP, MLA.
I want to see these monsters back in jail & the key thrown away. And I want this satanic government that applauds this travesty of justice voted out. I want India to reclaim her moral compass. pic.twitter.com/noaoz1c7ZW
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) March 26, 2023
When a picture says more than a million words: Bilkis Bano rape convict Shailesh Bhatt, granted remission last year, seen on stage with Dahod BJP MP Jaswant Sinh Babhor and his brother Limkheda MLA Sailesh Babhor at a Gujarat govt function. pic.twitter.com/5WHDiR9BDi
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) March 27, 2023
First they garlanded & celebrated the releases of #BilkisBano convicts,
Now they are seen sharing stage with BJP elected representatives 👇 pic.twitter.com/GdCY4Xm7Cq
— YSR (@ysathishreddy) March 27, 2023
MLA Jasvantsinh Bhabhor too had shared some images from the event where the convict Shailesh Bhatt was seen. “Jasvantsinh Bhabhor wrote, “At Limkheda taluka of Dahod district, Kadana dam bulk pipeline-based Limkheda group water supply scheme under the estimated amount of 101.89 crore works was laid. In which 43 villages of Limkheda taluka, 18 villages of Singhwad taluka and 3 villages of Jhalod taluka will benefit from this scheme,” Bhabhor had tweeted in Gujarati.
The 11 rapists were given a life sentence in 2008 for gangraping Bilkis Bano and killing seven people from her family, which included her three-year-old daughter. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala assured that a new bench will be formed to hear the petitions.
Ahead of the SC hearing tomorrow, challenging Gujarat govt order allowing premature release of Bilkis Bano convicts, 1 of the convicts Sailesh Bhatt shared stage with Dahod BJP MP Jaswantsinh Bhabhor & MLA Shailesh Bhabhor. This was during a govt event in Karmadi Village of Dahod pic.twitter.com/YmeYsKNOl4
— Tanushree Pandey (@TanushreePande) March 26, 2023
The court had directed the Gujarat government to release the 11 rapists based on an outdated policy. The panel justified the decision of calling off their sentence by calling them “sanskari Brahmin men” who served 14 years in prison and showed good behaviour.