Bilkis Bano case: Social activists have decided to take out a padayatra from Randhikpur in Dahod district of Gujarat to Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad to protest the release of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case.
Eleven convicts were released from a jail in Godhra on August 15 after they were granted remission by the Gujarat government. The activists will march under the banner of 'Hindu Muslim Ekta Samiti' and cover the 180-kilometre distance between September 26 and October 4. Social activist Sandeep Pandey and MLA Jignesh Mevani set to participate along with 25 others, including organising committee member Kalim Siddique said.
The release of the convicts is a matter of shame in a country that is identified the world over for its spirituality and the values and virtues of Mahatma Gandhi, the group said in a release. "It is a shame that Gujarat, which produced a global stalwart like Mahatma Gandhi, is silent today on people who have committed heinous crimes," it added.
There was need to speak out "so that humanity survives, so that moral values and ethical standards are respected, so that innocent people feel safe and criminals are discouraged", the group said.
It said the march was to tell Bilkis Bano that "we're sorry" and to hope that such a fate does not befall anyone else. Bilkis Bano was gang-raped and several of her kin were killed in the post-Godhra riots that took place in the state in 2002.