Bilkris Bano was brutally gang-raped during Gujarat riots in the year 2002 by 11 men and 15 years after the crime the 11 convicts were welcomed with sweets and garlands, outside Godhara sub jail on 15 August 2022, after the government of Gujarat approved their early release under their remission policy.
Who is Bilkis Bano?
In the year 2002 when communal riots erupted in the state of Gujarat and during that time on 28 February 2002, after the Sabarmati Express was set on fire in Gujarat’s Godhra which resulted resulting in the deaths of dozens of pilgrims and kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya
21-year-old and five-month pregnant Bilkis Bano from Radhikpur left her village with her 3-year-old daughter and 15 other family members.
On 3rd March 2003, the family of Bilkis Bano took shelter in Chhaparwal district of Gujarat. When suddenly a mob of about 20-30 people attacked them with swords and sticks.
According to the charge sheet, Bilkis, her mother, and three other women were brutally raped and assaulted. Among the group eight were found dead, six were missing. Only Bilkis, a man, and a three-year-old survived the attack. And among the attackers there were 11 accused.
What happened in the Bilkis Bano Case?
After getting brutally raped, Bilkis remained unconcious for 3 hours and when she regained her consciousness, she borrowed clothes from an Adivasi woman, and then she met a Home Guard who took her to the Limkheda police station.
Bilkis registered a complaint with Head Constable Somabhai Gori, and according to the Crime Branch Of India(CBI), he tried to suppress materials to protect the convicts. After that the case of Bilkis Bano was taken up by the National Human Rights Commission and the Supreme court of India handed over the case to the CBI.
The CBI found out that the post mortem of the dead people was carried out shoddily in order to protect the convicts. CBI also revealed that the people who were killed in the attack none of the seven bodies had skulls and CBI also claimed that the heads of the corpses had been severed after the autopsy, so that the bodies could not be identified.
Trial was shifted to Maharashtra
The Bilkis Bano case trial shifted to Maharashtra after she received death threats in Gujarat and the Mumbai court filed cases against 19 men, including six police officers and a government doctor.
In the year 2008 a special court convicted the 11 accused for raping a pregnant woman,unlawful assembly, murder, and other charges under other sections of the Indian Penal Code. The Head Constable was also convicted for making incorrect records to save the accused.
The court held that Jaswantbhai Nai, Govindbhai Nai, and Naresh Kumar Mordhiya (deceased) had raped Bilkis, while Shailesh Bhatt killed her daughter, Saleha, by smashing her on the ground.
And other convicts were Radheshyam Shah, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Kesarbhai Vohania, Pradeep Vohania, Bakabhai Vohania, Rajubhai Soni, Nitesh Bhatt, Ramesh Chandana, and Head Constable Somabhai Gori.
The court sentenced the life time imprisonment to all 11 accused.
Convicts are out of the Jail
All these men who were sentenced life time imprisonment for Balkis Bano rape case were released on 15 August and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Raj Kumar told the media that the remission application was accepted because the convicts had completed 14 years in jail, and considering different factors such as “age, nature of the crime, behaviour in prison and so on”.
Release of all 11 convicts make people angry, they criticised the government:
Dear PM @narendramodi Ji,
If you had really meant what you spoke about Respecting women, urge you to intervene & rescind the Gujarat Govt remission order releasing 11 Rapists 🙏
Sir, it is nauseating to put it mildly & against MHA order. Need you to show sagacity to the Nation
— KTR (@KTRTRS) August 17, 2022
5 महीने की गर्भवती महिला से बलात्कार और उनकी 3 साल की बच्ची की हत्या करने वालों को 'आज़ादी के अमृत महोत्सव' के दौरान रिहा किया गया।
नारी शक्ति की झूठी बातें करने वाले देश की महिलाओं को क्या संदेश दे रहे हैं?
प्रधानमंत्री जी, पूरा देश आपकी कथनी और करनी में अंतर देख रहा है।
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 17, 2022
Can’t bring myself to share a video of convicted rapists being garlanded and fed sweets. Can only think of Bilkis Bano’s anguish & anger today. We don’t want women to work, don’t want them to study, to get due justice, to speak or write. We just don’t want them. #BilkisBano
— Mitali Mukherjee (@MitaliLive) August 16, 2022
On #IndependenceDay2022 when @PMOIndia was giving a speech asking us to respect women, support “Nari Shakti”, @CMOGuj was releasing 11 convicted gang-rapists of #BilkisBano on remission. Can @narendramodi tell us, is Bilkis not part of your “Nari Shakti” because she’s Muslim? pic.twitter.com/A9Lxr1giyZ
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) August 16, 2022
The 11 men who were convicted of gang-raping then 21 year old Bilkis Bano and murdering 7 members of her family are free, their life sentence remitted. If they roam around in the same village as Bilkis, will she ever be able to live a normal life? Is this ‘justice’? #BilkisBano pic.twitter.com/ofFdBuuycM
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 16, 2022
11 convicts sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of gangrape and murder of 7 members of #BilkisBano's family walked out of a Godhra sub-jail today. The Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy. #2002GujaratRiots @TheQuint pic.twitter.com/u1dawz5zzm
— Himanshi Dahiya (@himansshhi) August 16, 2022