Indian woman condemns release of her convicted rapist

NEW DELHI (AP) — Amid India’s devastating religious unrest in 2002, a Muslim woman who was gang-raped while pregnant has called on the government to reverse a decision to release 11 men who had been sentenced to life in prison for the crime. About probation.

The victim, now in her 40s, was brutally gang-raped in 2002 in communal violence in the western state of Gujarat when she became pregnant with more than 1,000 people, including many, in some of the worst religious riots India has ever experienced. Partly Muslim, killed since independence from Britain in 1947. Seven of the woman’s family members, including her 3-year-old daughter, were also killed in the violence.

The Associated Press does not usually identify victims of sexual assault.

The 11 men, who were convicted in 2008 of rape, murder and unlawful assembly, were released Monday as India celebrated the 75th anniversary of its independence.

The victim said the Gujarat government’s decision numbed her and shook her faith in justice.

“How can a woman’s justice end like this? I trust the Supreme Court in our land,” she said in a statement late Wednesday, adding that she had not been contacted by any authorities before the decision was made. “Please remove this harm. Give me back my rights and let me live without fear and in peace.”

Dozens of women protested the release of the men in the capital, New Delhi, on Thursday. Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women’s Association said they asked the state to reverse its decision.

“(Victims) and other survivors should be allowed to live in peace and dignity,” Mora said.

Another Gujarat chief secretary, Raj Kumar, told The Indian Express that the offenders’ applications for commutation were approved as they had completed more than 14 years in prison. A state government panel made the decision after taking into account other factors such as their age and behaviour in prison.

Those individuals were eligible under the 1992 relief policy, which took effect when they were convicted, Kumar said. A newer version adopted by the federal government in 2014 prohibits the release of immunity for people convicted of certain crimes, including rape and murder.

The unrest has long plagued Modi, then Gujarat’s top elected official, with authorities allegedly allowing and even encouraging bloodshed. Modi has repeatedly denied any role, and the Supreme Court said it found no evidence against him.

Videos on social media showing the men being greeted with candy and garlands after their release from prison went viral, sparking outrage and outrage from women, rights activists and opposition politicians.

In an interview with India Today TV, lawyer Vrinda Grover called the decision a “ridiculous and gross miscalculation”.

Opposition MP Rahul Gandhi took aim at Modi on Twitter, questioning what message he is sending to women in India from a government that claims to empower women.

“The whole country is seeing the difference between what you say and do,” he wrote in Hindi.

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