Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, at its monthly press briefing at its headquarters on September 3, expressed concern over the release of those convicted in the Bilkis Bano rape and murder case, alarming suicide rates and crime, delay in justice delivery system and dilly-dallying approach of the government towards agrarian crisis.

JIH Vice President Salim Engineer, while addressing media persons, said, “Remission in Bilkis Bano case is politically motivated and we hope that the Supreme Court will intervene to reverse this grave injustice.”

Atiya Siddiqua, JIH (Women’s Wing) National Secretary, while expressing deep concern on the remission of 11 persons convicted in Bilkis Bano case, said, “The remission policy in such heinous crimes will set a dangerous precedent. We hope that the Supreme Court will intervene to provide justice for Bilkis Bano. The remission policy needs to be implemented to inmates who are incarcerated for minor offences rather than for severe crimes like rape and murder. People will lose faith in the supremacy of the law if state governments are permitted to pardon criminals of their choice despite convicted for crimes like murder and rape. This will make a mockery of our justice delivery system.”

She added, “The Women’s Wing of Jamaat, in a letter to the President of India, has asked to intervene in the matter and give direction to the Gujarat Government through the PM and the Home Minister to reverse the decision of releasing those convicts.” 

While referring to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, the Vice President of Jamaat said, “Around 1.63 lakh persons committed suicide in India in 2021, according to NCRB. In other words, one suicide occurs every four minutes. There were around 1.3 lakh suicides in 2019 and 1.53 lakh in 2020. The figure for 2021 represents an increase from 2020 of 7.2 per cent. 2021 also witnessed the greatest rate of suicide deaths since 1967, at 120 deaths per million people. According to data, over two-thirds of suicides are committed by members of the economically disadvantaged strata of society (whose annual income is less than Rs 1 lakh). The daily wage earners had the highest rate of suicides. Crime against women rose by 15.3 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020. In 2021, we had 4.28 lakh cases of crimes against women registered compared to 3.71 lakh cases in 2020.” 

JIH Vice President added, “The Supreme Court of India has closed cases related to the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition and the Gujarat riots, saying that due to the passage of time, these cases have now become infructuous. However, the Supreme Court bench has also acknowledged that it was regrettable that the matter was not addressed earlier with regard to the contempt petition pertaining to the demolition of the Babri Masjid. Now the question arises who delayed these cases and why?” The Jamaat leader also demanded from the government that it should fulfil its promise of doubling farmers’ income and come out with a White Paper on how it plans to solve India’s agrarian crisis.

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