PEACE AT LAST?

India Today - - UPFRONT - BANDEEP SINGH

Bilkis Bano (pic­tured), still a teenager at the time and preg­nant, was gang raped by a Hindu mob in the 2002 Gu­jarat ri­ots. They killed her tod­dler daugh­ter. Over a dozen mem­bers of her fam­ily were slaugh­tered. All she wanted, she has said, in the wake of the Bom­bay High Court de­ci­sion that up­held life sen­tences for the rapists and mur­der­ers, was “jus­tice, not re­venge”. Po­lice and doc­tors were also judged com­plicit in cov­er­ing up the crime. Per­haps the Supreme Court had al­ready ac­knowl­edged pos­si­ble com­plic­ity when it agreed in 2004 that she could not re­ceive jus­tice in Gu­jarat and trans­ferred her case to Mum­bai. The events of Bilkis’s case make for hor­ri­fy­ing read­ing as does the af­ter­math. Still, she “al­ways had full faith in the ju­di­ciary” to do the right thing. “It’s a very good judg­ment,” she said, “and I’m very happy with it.”

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