Bilkis Bano case

Bilkis Bano case: All 11 convicts serving life imprisonment in the Bilkis Bano gangrape and murder of seven members of his family were released. The Gujarat government approved their release under the pardon policy.

Bilkis Bano case: All 11 convicts serving life term for the 2002 Bilkis Bano gang rape and murder of seven members of his family after the Godhra incident in Gujarat were released from the Godhra sub-jail on Monday. The Gujarat government approved their release under its pardon policy. An official gave this information. A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mumbai sentenced 11 convicts to life imprisonment on January 21, 2008 for the gang-rape of Bilkis Bano and killing seven of his family members. His conviction was later upheld by the Bombay High Court.

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Convicts sentenced to more than 15 years of imprisonment

These convicts had served more than 15 years of imprisonment, after which one of them had approached the Supreme Court for their premature release. Panchmahal commissioner Sujal Mytra told that the Supreme Court had directed the Gujarat government to look into his request to waive his sentence, following which the government had constituted a committee. Mytra was the head of the committee. Maytra said, “The committee constituted a few months back unanimously decided in favor of pardoning all the 11 convicts in the case. The recommendation was sent to the state government and yesterday we got orders for his release.”

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Names of convicts released in Bilkis Bano case

The 11 convicted in this case are… Jaswantbhai Nai, Govindbhai Nai, Shailesh Bhatt, Radheshyam Shah, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Kesarbhai Vohania, Pradeep Mordhia, Bakabhai Vohania, Rajubhai Soni, Mitesh Bhatt and Ramesh Chandana. On their release, human rights advocate Shamshad Pathan said on Monday night that a large number of people are in jail for committing less heinous and milder crimes than the Bilkis Bano case and they are not getting any pardon. Pathan said that when the government takes such decisions, people start losing trust in the system.

When did this incident happen?

It is noteworthy that during the post-Godhra riots on March 3, 2002, a mob attacked the family of Bilkis Bano in Randhikpur village of Limkheda taluka of Dahod district. According to the prosecution, “Bilkis was five months pregnant at the time. He was gang raped. Not only this, seven members of his family were murdered.” The court was told that six other members had fled the spot. The accused in this case were arrested in 2004.

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