Shaken my faith in justice: Bilkis Bano

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Gujarat: Bilkis Bano, the survivor of one of the most horrific rape cases during the 2002 Gujarat riots, has said the release of the 11 rapists has “shaken” her faith in justice. Her first statement since the release two days ago, hinted at a sense of deep hurt and betrayal. It has left her “numb” and “bereft of words”, she said.

“How can justice for any woman end like this? I trusted the highest courts in our land. I trusted the system, and I was learning slowly to live with my trauma… My sorrow and my wavering faith is not for myself alone but for every woman who is struggling for justice in courts,” said the woman, whose fight for justice went on for 18 long years.

The short statement also hinted at shock at the Gujarat government’s move to release the convicts without any consultation with her. “No one enquired about my safety and well-being, before taking such a big and unjust decision,” she said.

There was also a request for the Gujarat government. “Give me back my right to live without fear and in peace. Please ensure that my family and I are kept safe,” the statement read.

The short statement also hinted at shock at the Gujarat government’s move to release the convicts without any consultation with her. “No one enquired about my safety and well-being, before taking such a big and unjust decision,” she said.

There was also a request for the Gujarat government. “Give me back my right to live without fear and in peace. Please ensure that my family and I are kept safe,” the statement read.

Bilkis Bano was 21 when she saw seven members of her family murdered. Among them was her daughter, who was just three years old. Seven other relatives, who she says were also killed, were declared “missing”. The woman, five months’ pregnant, was then gang-raped.

 

 

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