Just weeks after India got its first tribal woman president, Draupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about women’s empowerment on this Independence Day, the rape survivor Bilkis Bano has gathered the headline.
For the unversed, Bilkis Bano was the 20-years-old and seven months pregnant lady who was not only got gang-raped but also saw seven members of her family murdered during the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.
To the worst she was subjected to this brutality by Hindu men Bilkis had known for years and referred to one of them as ‘Chacha’.
After six years of wait and facing several brutalities In January 2008, the special CBI court in Mumbai had convicted 11 of the 20 accused. They were sentenced life-imprisonment on the charges of conspiracy to rape a pregnant woman, unlawful assembly, murder and other charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.
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Just that you know, seven of the 20 accused were acquitted due to lack of evidence and one of them died during the course of this trial.
After serving life imprisonment for just 14 years, all the 11 convicts walked free on this 15th August, a proud day for India as it is the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. But was it a proud day for Bilkis Banu?
During a recent media interaction, Bilkis Bano broke silence on the matter and said that the trauma of the past 20 years washed over her again. Bilkis also added that, the release of these convicts has shaken her faith in justice. She also questioned the judiciary as said how can justice for any woman end like this as she trusted the highest courts in our land.
Being an inspiration Bilkis showed rare courage in continuing her fight for justice against extreme odds, but while India witnessed a massive outrage for Nirbhaya’s rapists being hanged, why is the public mute on remission for Bilkis Bano’s rapists?
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