France, Aug. 20 -- India's Gujarat has set free 11 men convicted of the gang rape of a Muslim woman and the murder of her relatives during the state's 2002 riots.

The rapists sentenced to life in prison in 2008 were greeted with sweets and garlands as they stepped out of a Gujarat jail to a hero's welcome on Monday.

Their release coincided with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading celebrations on the 75th anniversary of India's freedom with calls to respect women.

On 3 March, 2002, Bilkis Bano was 21 and five months pregnant when a Hindu mob set upon her family, killed 14 of her relatives and smashed her daughter to the ground till the three-year-old died.

Bano, now a face of the carnage of 1,000 mostly Muslims, regained consciousness...