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Bilkis Bano urges Gujarat govt to “undo the harm”

She said no one enquired about her safety and well-being before taking the "big and unjust decision".

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New Delhi: Bilkis Bano on Wednesday urged the Gujarat government to ‘undo the harm’ done by the release of 11 convicts in a case of her rape and murder of her family members.

In a statement issued through her advocate on Wednesday, Bano urged the Gujarat govt to reverse the release of the 11 convicts.

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She also urged the government to ensure she and her family remain safe, called it an “unjust decision”, and said she was ‘numb’.

“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,” Bano said in a statement.

“Today, I can say only 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 learning slowly 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 are not for myself alone but for every woman who is struggling for justice in courts,” she said.

She said no one enquired about her safety and well-being before taking the “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,” she said.

Eleven men who were sentenced to life imprisonment in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case of 2002 were released from the Godhra sub-jail on Monday after a panel set up by the Gujarat government approved their application for remission of the sentence.

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