ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Justice for Bilkis Bano

A sessions court verdict ends a harrowing six-year wait for justice by pogrom victim Bilkis Bano.

A measure of justice was finally provided to Bilkis Bano, one of many victims of gruesome incidents of hate crime during the Gujarat violence of 2002. Bano (who was pregnant at the time) was gang-raped while 14 members of her family were massacred in the post-Godhra violence in Dahod district of Gujarat. The special court in Mumbai, to which the Supreme Court had transferred the case, awarded life imprisonment to 11 who were found guilty, while a police officer was given three years of rigorous imprisonment for colluding with the perpetrators of the crime. Seven of the accused, including five police officers and a doctor were acquitted. While Bilkis Bano has welcomed the verdict, she has said that her struggle to bring the acquitted to book will continue.

Bilkis Bano’s case is just one example of a score of heinous crimes that were perpetrated in Gujarat as part of the Godhra and post-Godhra violence that are still being heard in the courts. The special court’s judgment is significant as justice was awarded despite the active efforts to subvert it in Gujarat. The subversion of justice and the active role of the Narendra Modi government in abetting the planned violence against the minority community is a known fact.

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