Two days after the Gujarat government released under a remission policy 11 men convicted of gangraping Bilkis Bano and killing her family, Bilkis has appealed to the state to “undo the harm” and “give back my right to live without fear and in peace”.
The statement, issued by Bilkis’ advocate Shobha Gupta late on Wednesday evening, says, “Two days ago, on August 15, 2022, the trauma of the past 20 years washed over me again. When I heard that the 11 convicted men, who devastated my family and my life, and took from me my three-year-old daughter, had walked free. I was bereft of words. I am still numb…”
“Today, I can only say this – how can justice for any woman end like this? I trusted the highest courts in our land. I trusted the system and I was slowly learning to live with my trauma. The release of these convicts has taken from me my peace and shaken my faith in justice. My sorrow and my wavering faith is not for myself alone but for every woman, who is struggling for justice in the courts. No one enquired about my safety and well-being, before taking such a big and unjust decision. I appeal to the Gujarat government, please undo this harm. Give me back my right to live without fear and in peace. Please ensure that my family and I are kept safe,” the statement added.