New Delhi ∙ Bilkis Banu against the Gujarat government’s move to release the accused in the gang rape case. In an interview to a national media, Bilkis Banu said that he has lost faith in the justice system and the trauma of 20 years ago has returned. Asked if anyone had thought about her safety, she asked the Gujarat government to reconsider the decision to release the 11 accused.
“Two days ago, the trauma of the last 20 years hit me again. The 11 convicts destroyed my family and my life. My three-year-old daughter was taken away from me. I believed in the justice system. The release of criminals robbed me of peace. My faith in justice has been shaken.”
“Nobody inquired about my safety before taking such a huge and unfair decision. I request the Gujarat government to return my right to live without fear and in peace. Please make sure my family and I are safe” – asked Bilkis Banu.
During the 2002 Gujarat riots, the Gujarat government acquitted 11 accused who had been sentenced to life imprisonment by a court for gang-raping Bilkis Banu and killing 7 family members, including their 3-year-old child. On January 21, 2008, a special CBI court in Mumbai sentenced 11 people to life imprisonment in the case. Their sentence was later upheld by the Bombay High Court.
One of the prisoners approached the Supreme Court claiming that he had completed 15 years of imprisonment and wanted to be released. The court directed the Gujarat government to consider the matter. Then a committee was formed under the leadership of Panchamahals Collector Sujal Mayatra. The government released the accused based on the recommendation of this committee.
English Summary: “Give Me Back My Right To Live Without Fear And In Peace”: Bilkis Bano