Mahua Moitra, a Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP, referred to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) “Gujarat model” as “hate and kill, then fete and reward” on Saturday after the saffron party fielded a Godhra MLA who defended the release of Bilkis Bano convicts and referred to them as “Brahmins with sanskar” for next month’s elections,
“Godhra MLA who called Bilkis case rapists & killers ‘Sanskari Brahmins’ is re-nominated by BJP. This is the Gujarat Model. Hate & Kill. Then Fete & Reward,” she tweeted.
Moitra is one of the petitioners who have asked the Supreme Court to reverse its decision to free the 11 rapists in the Bilkis Bano case. The matter’s subsequent hearing is slated for November 29.
In an interview with news outlet Mojo Story in August, days following the men’s release, BJP’s Chandrasinh Raulji made the comments. He served on the Gujarat government committee that decided to release the 11 criminals.
During the interview, Raulji was heard saying in Hindi that the rapists are “good people – Brahmins”. “And Brahmins are known to have good ‘sanskar’. It might have been someone’s ill intention to corner and punish them,” he said, adding the convicts showed good conduct during their time behind bars.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader Y Satish Reddy shared the video on Twitter and referred to the BJP as “the lowest a party can ever stoop” in response to the BJP MLA’s remarks.
Later, in an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, the Gujarat government, which is led by the BJP, defended its choice to release the criminals. The rapists had served 14 years in prison, according to the statement, and their “behaviour was found to be good.”
During the sectarian riots in Gujarat in 2002, Bano—who was five months pregnant—was raped and seven of her family members—including her three-year-old daughter—were slain. The 11 prisoners, who had been serving life sentences in the Godhra Sub-Jail, were freed on August 15.
Before the assembly elections in August 2017, Raulji defected from the Congress party to the BJP. Only 258 votes separated him from his former side as he won the elections on the platform of his new party. . Raulji had triumphed with a Congress ticket in the previous elections, which were held in 2007 and 2012.