SC to hear Bilkis Bano's plea against release of rapists on Tuesdaytext_fields
New Delhi: On December 13, the Supreme Court will hear Bilkis Bano's appeal contesting the pardon and release of 11 prisoners from the 2002 case involving her gangrape and the murder of seven members of her family.
The case will be heard by a bench led by Justice Ajay Rastogi. On August 15, Bano filed two petitions challenging the Gujarat government's decision to release the prisoners early.
When Bano was gang-raped during the riots in Gujarat in 2002 that followed the Godhra train burning tragedy, she was 21 and five months pregnant. One of the seven members of Bano's family who were killed was her 3-year-old daughter, NDTV reported.
"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 the loss of hope," she had said at the time of filing the petitions.
"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.
The release of the 11 offenders had been approved by the Center, the Gujarati government informed the Supreme Court in October, and it also emphasised their "good behaviour."
Contrary to what the state government asserts, the 11 inmates were charged with harassing and intimidating witnesses while on parole, according to FIRs and police complaints seen by NDTV. At least four witnesses in the case filed complaints and FIRs against the convicted between 2017 and 2021.