Countless numbers of Indians went on the streets on Saturday to protest the government's recent ruling to free 11 men who had been given life sentences for gang raping a Muslim woman during country's deadly religious riots in 2002.
The protesters in New Delhi, the capital of the country, chanted slogans and urged the Gujarati government to reconsider its decision. They also sang songs in the victim's defense. The 11 men were awarded suspended sentences when India celebrated its 75th anniversary of independence on August 15. They had been convicted of rape, murder, and unlawful assembly in 2008. The victim, who is now in her 40s, recently asserted that Gujarat's ruling left her feeling numb and destroyed her faith in justice. According to officials in Gujarat, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party is in power, the detainees' plea for remission was allowed because they had already served more than 14 years in prison. The men were eligible for remission, according to officials, under a 1992 regulation that was in effect at the time of their sentencing.
Remission release for persons convicted of certain crimes, including rape and murder, is prohibited under a newer version of the policy that the federal government enacted in 2014.