Citizens take to streets across India; demand justice for Bilkis Bano

India stood in solidarity with Bilkis Bano and her family as many across the country were on the streets on Saturday protesting against the Gujarat government’s recent decision to free the 11 convicts who were found guilty of gang rape of Bano and the mass murder of her family during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Citizens of states such as Telangana, Karnataka, Punjab, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharastra, and New Delhi took to the streets against the unjust decision and questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence.

Even though the protests were made in different languages and dialects, they resonated with a common purpose- Justice for Bilkis Bano.

Karnataka

Hundreds gathered in Freedom Park in Bengaluru demanding a rollback of the remission of the 11 convicts by the Gujurat government on August 15. The protests were called by members of the Bahutva Karnataka.

Taking to Twitter, they wrote, “Bilkis was subjected to sexual violence because she was a Muslim woman. There is silence now because she is a Muslim woman. This is wrong and unacceptable.”

Speaking on the issue, Maitreyi Krishnan, national president advocate of All India Lawyers Association for Justice said, “We are here to protest against the Gujarat government for granting remission to convicts of Bilkis Bano. We are here to support the struggle of Bilkis because what happened there was barbaric, inhumane and against the fundamental values of our constitution. The act of granting remission is completely illegal and unconstitutional.”

Speaking to Siasat.com, Lubna Siraj, national president of the National Women’s Front (NWF) demanded a safe and secure life for Bilkis and her family.

“The right to life guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution should be ensured to all citizens of the country without discrimination. It is the misuse of remission policy to save Hindutva criminals,” Siraj added.

A protestor writing words of solidarity at Freedom park in Bengaluru on Saturday (Picture: Syed Mueen)
Protestors at Freedom park in Bengaluru on Saturday (Picture: Syed Mueen)
Protestors at Freedom park in Bengaluru on Saturday (Picture: Twitter/Mohammed Irshad )

Apart from Bengaluru, protests were witnessed in 15 districts such as Gulbarga, YadgiriHassan, Chamrajnagar, Chickmaglur, Ballari, Bidar, and Bijapur to name a few.

Protests at Bijapur (Photo: Twitter/Mohammad Irshad)
Protests at Devangere (Photo: Twitter/Mohammad Irshad)
Protests at Gulbarga (Photo: Twitter/Mohammad Irshad)
Protests at Koppal (Photo: Twitter/Mohammad Irshad)

Telangana

Protests were held at Makdoom Hall were prominent activists Khalida Parveen, Padmaja Shah and Jhansi Gaddam took part. The protest was organised by the Telangana Women and Transgender Organisation Joint Action Committee.

Discussion ranging from future action plan to avoid such communal unrest to reaching out to politicians of various political parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and speaking against the unfair decision, the safety of every woman in the country etc were addressed.

Protests at Makdoom Hall in Hyderabad (Photo: Twitter/Sreeharsha)
Protests at Makdoom Hall in Hyderabad (Photo: Twitter/Mahila Swaraj)

Maharashtra

Women activists of the Thane-Palghar unit of the Nationalist Congress Party on Saturday held a protest against the release of 11 convicts by the Gujarat government in the Bilkis Bano case. The protest was held at Shivaji Square.

Protests at Cafe Goodluck Chowk in Pune (Photo: Twitter/AIPC – Maharashtra)
Protests for Bilkis Bano in Nagpur (Photo: Twitter/Mirza)

Protests held by members of the Social Democratic Party of India in Aurangabad (Photo: Twitter/SDPI Maharashtra)

Punjab

Women protesting against the injustice meted out on Bilkis Bano in Jamalpura, Punjab (Photo: Twitter/Khalida Parveen)
Men protesting against the injustice meted out on Bilkis Bano in Jamalpura, Punjab (Photo: Twitter/Khalida Parveen)
Protest in Chandigarh, Punjab (Photo: Twitter/Mahila Swaraj)

New Delhi

Protests at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi (Photo: Twitter/AISA Delhi)
Protests at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi (Photo: Twitter/Amarjeet Kumar Singh)
Students of Jamia Millia Islamia protesting for Bilkis Bano (Photo: Twitter/ WhereAreTheWomen?)

Kerala

Protest at Kochi, Kerala (Photo: Twitter/ Mahila Swaraj)

Uttar Pradesh

Protests for Bilkis Bano in Varanasi (Photo: Twitter/ Mahila Swaraj)
Protests for Bilkis Bano in Varanasi (Photo: Twitter/ Mahila Swaraj)

Tamil Nadu

Protest in Karur, Tamil Nadu (Photo: Twitter/Mahila Swaraj)