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The release of the 11 men convicted in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case showed the mindset of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said on Tuesday, PTI reported.

The life-term convicts were released from a Godhra jail on Monday after the Gujarat government approved their application to reduce their sentences under its remission policy.

Bilkis Bano was gangraped on March 3, 2002, during the riots in Gujarat. She was 19 and pregnant at the time. Fourteen members of her family, including her three-year-old daughter, were murdered by the rioters near Ahmedabad. One of the men snatched the girl from her mother’s arms and smashed her head on a rock.

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died in the 2002 riots.

“Yesterday, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the prime minister spoke big things about women’s safety, women’s power, women’s respect,” Khera said at a press conference on Tuesday. “A few hours later, the Gujarat government released those behind the rape. We also saw that the convicts in the rape who were released are being honoured. Is this the Amrit Mahotsav?”

The Congress spokesperson questioned Modi whether the prime minister himself believed on what he said in his Independence Day speech.

“Who is the real Narendra Modi?” Khera asked. “The one who…

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Abdul Gh Lone

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