The 11 convicts who had been given life sentences in the post-Godhra Bilkis Bano gang rape case from 2002 were all released from the Godhra sub-jail. This comes after the Gujarati government’s remission programme allowed them release.
On Monday, the 11 accused persons Shah, Jaswant Chaturbhai Nai, Keshubhai Vadaniya, Bakabhai Vadaniya, Rajibhai Soni, Rameshbhai Chauhan, Shaileshbhai Bhatt, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Govindbhai Nai, Mitesh Bhatt, and Pradip Modhiya walked out of jail on Monday.
On January 21, 2008, a special CBI court in Mumbai sentenced the eleven accused to life in prison on the charges of gang rape and the murder of seven Bilkis Bano family members. The Bombay High Court later upheld their conviction. One of these inmates, who had already served more than 15 years in prison, went before the Supreme Court and pleaded for an early release.
According to Panchmahals Collector Sujal Mayatra, who served as the panel’s chair, the Gujarat government formed a committee after the state’s top court instructed it to look into the possibility of commuting his sentence.
‘A committee formed a few months back took a unanimous decision in favour of remission of all the 11 convicts in the case. The recommendation was sent to the state government, and yesterday we received the orders for their release,’ said Mayatra.