Bilkis Bano Vows To 'Stand And Fight Again' As She Challenges Remission Of 11 Gangrape Convicts
Bilkis Bano, who was gang-raped and her family members were killed in front of her by a mob during the 2002 Gujarat riots, has said that she will stand and fight again against the release of the 11 convicts in the case.
“The decision to once again stand up and knock on the doors of justice was not easy for me. For a long time, after the men who destroyed my entire family and my life were released, I was simply numb. I was paralysed with shock and with fear for my children, my daughters, and above all, paralysed by loss of hope,” Bano said in a statement.
I will stand and fight again
“But, the spaces of my silence were filled with other voices; voices of support from different parts of the country that have given me hope in the face of unimaginable despair; and made me feel less alone in my pain. I cannot express in words what this support has meant to me,” she added.
“So, I will stand and fight again, against what is wrong and for what is right. I do this today for myself, for my children, and for women everywhere”, she said further.
Banu challenges remission of convicts in SC
On Wednesday, she had moved the Supreme Court against releasing 11 men convicted of gang-raping her.
Bano was 21 years old and five-month pregnant when she was gang-raped while fleeing the 2002 Gujarat riots after the Godhra train burning incident. Her three-year-old daughter was among the seven family members killed.
Despite the horrific nature of their crimes, the 11 men were released from jail in August after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy. They had completed more than 15 years in prison.
They walked out of jail to a grand welcome with sweets and garlands from family and friends.
Shaken conscience of society
In her plea in the SC, challenging the remission of the sentence of 11 convicts, Banu said that their premature release has “shaken the conscience of society”.
Besides the plea challenging the release of the convicts, the gang rape survivor has also filed a separate petition seeking a review of the apex court’s May 13, 2022 order on a plea by a convict.
The top court had asked the state government to consider the plea for premature release of the convicts in terms of its policy of July 9, 1992, about deciding a remission petition within two months.
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