Majority of Bilkis Bano Rape Case Convicts Missing After SC Order

Concerns rise as nine out of eleven convicts fail to surrender.

Hyderabad: In the Bilkis Bano rape case, nine out of the eleven convicts who were supposed to return to jail following the Supreme Court's order quashing the Gujarat government's remission decision are reportedly missing, according to a Live Mint news report.

Dahod SP Balram Meena mentioned that the Dahod police station has not received any information about the surrender of the convicts. He stated that the police force remains deployed in the area where the convicts reside to maintain peace.

Meena clarified that the eleven convicts are "not incommunicado" and some of them are reportedly visiting relatives. The convicts, residents of Singvad taluka, have been under police deployment since Monday morning to prevent any potential communal conflict.

According to Akhambhai Chaturbhai Raval, father of one convict Govind Nai, Govind had left home "a week ago," blaming the conviction on "political vendetta of Congress." Another convict, Radheshyam Shah, has not been home for "the last 15 months," according to his father Bhagwandas Shah, who claimed to be unaware of Radheshyam's whereabouts.

Local villagers and shopkeepers, who had previously seen the convicts until the Supreme Court judgment, now claim, "You won’t find them now. All of them locked their houses and left," as reported by Financial Express. The convicts are residents of Randhikpur and Singvad villages.

The 11 convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2008, and they were released on August 15, 2022, following the state government's order to grant them remission. The Supreme Court recently quashed the remission and ordered all convicts to return to jail within two weeks, criticizing the Gujarat government for abusing its discretion.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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