Convicts involved in gang rape and murder during the Gujarat pogrom in 2002 have been released after their application for remission of sentence was approved by the state government, Indian media reported.
The 11 men serving life imprisonment in Gujarat’s Godhra Town, particularly in relation to the Bilkis Bano gang rape case, were released on Monday.
A remission application was submitted by the 11 convicts following their completion of 14 years in jail, said a senior bureaucrat. In India, life sentences usually comprise of a 14-year jail term.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was ordered by India’s Supreme Court to conduct a federal investigation of the case in 2004.
The trial was then transferred from Gujarat to Maharashtra after Bilkis Bano —one of the Muslim women who was subjected to gang rape and saw her three-year-old daughter get killed by Hindu right-wingers — accused the men of sending her death threats.
Bilkis was a resident of Limkheda area of Gujarat’s Dahod district.
In 2008, 13 accused in the case were convicted by a special Central Bureau of Investigation court, while 11 among these were punished with life imprisonment for gang rape and murder.