|Detailed story of Bilkis Bano in Telugu|
By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 4, 2017
Bilkis Bano gangrape case verdict: The rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her family members was one of the most horrifying incidents that had taken place during the 2002 Godhra riots in Gujarat.
The Bombay High Court upheld the life imprisonment sentence of 11 accused in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case that had occurred in 2002. The rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her family members was one of the most horrifying incidents that had taken place during the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat. For the past 15 years, Bilkis Bano had taken up the matter with the local police, an NGO, the CBI and the courts to get justice for herself.
On March 3, 19-year-old Bilkis Bano along with her family were on their way, escaping a mob on a truck. Bilkis was five months pregnant and accompanying her were 17 other people in the truck, including her 2-year-old daughter. The truck was attacked by an armed mob, who gangraped her and killed 14 members of her family including her daughter, her mother Halima and cousin Shamim.
The 19-year-old approached the local police station to register a case against the assailants. However, the police dismissed her case and threatened her with dire consequences if she proceeded with the matter. She then approached the National Human Rights Commission of India and petitioned the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court directed the CBI to probe into the matter. In the meantime, she along with her family were issued threats, which forced her to request the SC to move the case outside Gujarat. The SC then shifted the case to Maharashtra.
In the Mumbai court, charges were filed against 19 men, including 6 police officers and a government doctor. In January 2008, 11 of them were sentenced to life imprisonment for gangrape and murder. The CBI however had asked for death penalty for Jaswantbai Nai, Govindbhai Nai and Radhesham Shah, who were charged for having played a significant role in planning and execution of the entire incident. The 11 convicts had however, filed an appeal to the High Court challenging their conviction.
Though Modi has evaded prosecution so far, he can't claim innocence. His comments justifying the riots - such as every action having an equal and opposite reaction - betray grave negligence on the part of the Gujarat chief minister, ignoring his constitutional duty to protect the people of his state. Nor did Modi lift a finger against the bandh called by his party along with right-wing Hindu groups, which triggered riots by parading the bodies of Godhra victims. While Modi was quick to visit Godhra after the Sabarmati Express carnage, he made no efforts to visit the riot-affected areas in Ahmedabad. Modi neither expressed remorse for killings of Muslims in such a scale by Hindu militants nor provided relief operations but actively abetted Hindu militant groups. Even the relief amounts paid were Rs.2 lakhs for Hindu victims and Rs.1 lakh for Muslim victim. Even this was due to hue & cry of the NGO's. It is tragedy such a Modi is PM of India, the largest democratic secular nation in the world!