The Supreme Court in India – today, Monday – annulled a previous decision by the government of Gujarat state, on the western coast of the country, to release 11 Hindus who were convicted of gang rape of a pregnant Muslim woman, during acts of violence that witnessed a major massacre against Muslims in 2002.
These people were sentenced to life imprisonment in early 2008, but the Gujarat government – which is ruled by a party Bharatiya Janata Party The Hindu nationalist led by the current Prime Minister Narendra ModiThey were released in 2022 after the prison administration in which they were held recommended that they were eligible for pardon given their “good behavior” and having spent 14 years in detention.
The decision sparked protests at that time from organizations, activists, and the family of the victim, Bilkis Bano, who – along with other affected people – submitted petitions to the Supreme Court against the release of those convicted in the case.
In the ruling it issued today, the Supreme Court rejected a request submitted by the perpetrators to keep them released, and ordered them to surrender themselves to the prison administration within two weeks.
The court said that the Gujarat government does not have the authority to reduce the sentence issued to the convicts, given that the trial in this case was transferred to the city of Mumbai, which is the financial center of India.
It is noteworthy that 7 members of the Balqis family, including her three-year-old daughter, were killed by the perpetrators during the violence that occurred in 2002, which resulted in the deaths of two thousand people, most of them Muslims.
The unrest occurred when Modi was prime minister in Gujarat, and his party still rules this state to this day.