NEW DELHI (AP) – Hundreds of people on Saturday held demonstrations in several parts of India to protest a recent government decision to free 11 men who had been jailed for life for gang raping a Muslim woman during India’s devastating 2002 religious riots.
The protesters in the country’s capital, New Delhi, chanted slogans and demanded the government in the western state of Gujarat rescind the decision.
They also sang songs in solidarity with the victim.
Similar protests were also held in several other states.
The 11 men, released on suspended sentences on August 15 when India celebrated 75 years of independence, were convicted in 2008 of rape, murder and unlawful assembly.
The victim, who is now in her 40s, recently said the decision by the Gujarat state government has left her numb and shaken her faith in justice. The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify victims of sexual assault.
The victim was pregnant when she was brutally gang raped in communal violence in 2002 in Gujarat, which saw over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, killed in some of the worst religious riots India has experienced since its independence from Britain in 1947.