NCP chief Sharad Pawar attacks PM Modi over release of 11 men convicted in Bilkis Bano gangrape case | India News

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NEW DELHI: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday attacked PM Narendra Modi over the release of 11 men convicted in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case from the 2002 riots in Gujarat.
In a series of tweets in Hindi, Pawar attacked the Modi-led government for its hypocrisy.
“It amazes me that on August 15, the Prime Minister, while addressing the countrymen from the Red Fort, talked about women’s honor … and after two days the state from which the Prime Minister comes reduced the punishment of those who were involved in committing atrocities on a sister named Bilkis Bano,” said Pawar, who was re-elected as chief of his party for four years at a convention in New Delhi on Saturday.
“The BJP has shown to the people of Gujarat and the rest of India how it defines honour for women,” added Pawar.
The 11 men were sentenced to life imprisonment for the gangrape of Bilkis Bano, who was pregnant at the time, and the murder of seven members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter.
Having served 15 years, the men walked out of Godhra jail after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy.
The BJP government has said the Supreme Court, on a petition by one of the men, had asked it to consider their plea. They were were eligible for release as per policy, the government said.
Clarion call for unity
Ahead of the next round of assembly elections, the NCP on Saturday gave a clarion call for unity of anti-BJP forces and said that Sharad Pawar would play an important role in this regard.
Addressing the extended working committee of the NCP, Pawar alleged that the Modi government was “anti-farmer” and had also “failed” to tackle the issue of unemployment.
The veteran leader said that farmers were looking forward to getting a good price for their paddy crop, but the government has imposed a 20% export duty on rice and banned the export of broken rice. “The nation is in deep anguish and we will have to take up these issues vigorously at every forum,” Pawar said.
(With inputs from agencies)



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