Like Nirbhaya case, cuprits of Bilkis gang-rape also deserve death sentence: Jamaat
New Delhii, May 11: Welcoming the death sentence to four culprits in Nirbhaya gang-rape case by the Supreme Court, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, India's one of the largest socio-religious organizations, on Thursday, has said that same capital punishment should also be given to the culprits in Bilkis Bano gang-rape case.
"Jamaat appreciate upholding death sentence to four convicts by the Supreme Court in Nirbhaya case. Moreover, we have also been saying if such sentence be given in public places, it would help to check such crimes," said Mohammad Salim Engineer, Secretary General, Jamaat while addressing a press conference.
"Jamaat considers both these cases that of Nirbhaya as well as Bilkis Bano to be in the category of "Rarest of the rare". In fact the Bilkis Bano gang rape case needs to be considering to be more heinous and dreadful considering the circumstances in which she was raped and members of her family were attacked and killed. We hope if Bilkis Bano case is presented in the Supreme court, she will get justice like Nirbhaya," he averred.
The Supreme Court on 5th May upheld the death sentence awarded by the Delhi High Court to all four convicts in the brutal Nirbhaya gang-rape that led to her death. All the four were convicted for raping and assaulting the 23 year-old paramedical student inside a moving bus on December 16, 2012 which led to her death 13 days later.
Both Supreme Court and Delhi High Court agreed with the trial court that this was "rarest of rare" cases. There were total six accused in the case. The fifth accused, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Central Jail and the sixth who was a juvenile at the time of crime, was released in 2015 after completing his probation period in a remand home.
On 4th May, just a day before Nirbhaya verdict came, the Bombay high court upheld life sentences for 11 men in Bilkis Bano gang-rape case happened during the Gujarat 2002 riots and convicted seven people including five policemen and two doctors for tampering evidence.
Though CBI submitted a plea seeking the death sentence for at least three of all convicts in the case, but it was rejected by the High Court. In its plea before the court in 2016, the CBI had said that this fell under the category of 'rarest of rare' cases and the life term awarded by a lower court to three of the prime accused should be enhanced to death penalty.
Bikis was one of 17 people who were attacked by a mob on March 3, 2002 in Gujarat's Dahod district during riots. The three prime accused had gang-raped the (then) 19-year old five-month pregnant Bilkis Bano, her mother and her sister. Eight of her family members including her three-year-old daughter were killed and six reportedly went missing.
In a press statement Jamaat said: "Jamaat has always been demanding that very harsh punishment must be awarded in such heinous crime as it acts as a deterrent for the people with criminal mentality and they are bound to refrain from such heinous crimes simply because of the fear of possible harsh punishment like the death penalty."