Here arrives timeline of horrific case from 2002 to 2022 and BJP government role in Gujarat . It is to be reminded all this 20 years Gujarat state is ruled by BJP governemnt ..
February 28, 2002 :
At the time of Narendra modi ruled BJP government in Gujarat Bilkis fled her village, Radhikpur in Dahod district, after violence erupted in the state in the aftermath of the previous day’s incident at Godhra station, in which the Sabarmati Express was set on fire, resulting in the deaths of dozens of pilgrims and kar sewaks returning from Ayodhya.
Bilkis was accompanied by her daughter Saleha, who was three-and-a-half years old at the time, and 15 other members of her family.
They fled fearing a re-run of the arson and looting that had taken place in their village on the occasion of Bakr-Id a few days previously.
March 3, 2002 :
The family reached Chapparwad village. According to the chargesheet, they were attacked by about 20-30 people armed with sickles, swords, and sticks.
Among the attackers were the 11 accused men who recently given remmision by BJP ruled governemnt in Gujarat
Bilkis, her mother, and three other women were raped and brutally assaulted.
Of the 17-member group of Muslims from Radhikpur village, eight were found dead, six were missing. Only Bilkis, a man, and a three-year-old survived the attack.
Bilkis remained unconscious for at least three hours after the attack. After she regained consciousness, she borrowed clothes from an Adivasi woman, and met a Home Guard who took her to the Limkheda police station.
She registered a complaint with Head Constable Somabhai Gori who, according to the CBI, “suppressed material facts and wrote a distorted and truncated version” of her complaint.
Bilkis was taken to a public hospital for medical examination only after she reached the Godhra relief camp.
Her case was taken up by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Supreme Court, which ordered an investigation by the CBI.
The CBI concluded that the post mortem examination was carried out shoddily in order to protect the accused.
CBI investigators exhumed the bodies of those killed in the attack, and said that none of the seven bodies had skulls.
According to the CBI, the heads of the corpses had been severed after the autopsy, so that the bodies could not be identified.
The trial was moved out of Gujarat to Maharashtra after Bilkis Bano received death threats.
In the Mumbai court, charges were filed against 19 men, including six police officers and a government doctor.
January 2008 :
After 6 years of the horrific incident a special court convicted 11 accused of conspiring to rape a pregnant woman, murder, unlawful assembly, and of charges under other sections of the Indian Penal Code. The Head Constable was convicted of “making incorrect records” to save the accused.
Seven persons were acquitted by the court, citing lack of evidence. One person died during the course of the trial. The court held that Jaswantbhai Nai, Govindbhai Nai, and Naresh Kumar Mordhiya (deceased) had raped Bilkis, while Shailesh Bhatt had killed her daughter, Saleha, by “smashing” her on the ground.
Others who were convicted are Radheshyam Shah, Bipin Chandra Joshi, Kesarbhai Vohania, Pradeep Vohania, Bakabhai Vohania, Rajubhai Soni, Nitesh Bhatt, Ramesh Chandana, and Head Constable Somabhai Gori.
Despite being bystanders to the crime (excluding Gori), these accused were convicted of rape and murder, as being part of “an unlawful assembly” distributes the liability of the crime, the court observed. As result All 11 convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment by the court.
May 2017 :
Bombay High Court upheld the conviction and life imprisonment of 11 people in the gangrape case, and set aside the acquittal of seven people, including the policemen and doctors.
April 2019 :
The Supreme Court directed the Gujarat government to give Rs 50 lakh as compensation to Bilkis within two weeks. this is after she had refused to accept the compensation of Rs 5 lakh, and had sought exemplary compensation from the state government in a plea before the top court.
15 August 2022
As India was celebrating the spirit of the country’s 75th Independence Day on Monday, August 15, the Gujarat government announced the release of 11 convicts who had attacked Bilkis Bano and her family in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots in 2002.
A viral video was circulated online which showed the men lined up outside the Godhra jail as their relatives gave them sweets and touched their feet as a mark of respect.
As per the guidelines, Gujarat government special remission was to be granted to prisoners on August 15, 2022, January 26, 2023 (Republic Day) and August 15, 2023.
However, the guidelines made it clear that persons sentenced to life imprisonment and rape convicts were not entitled to be prematurely released.
According to local media reports, it has been pointed out that one of the convicts in the case had approached the Gujarat High Court with a plea seeking remission (reducing the amount of sentence without changing the character) of the life sentence, which was initially dismissed.
He then filed a plea in the Supreme Court, on the grounds that he was in jail for 15 years and four months without remission as of April 1, 2022. The court directed the Gujarat government to look into the issue of remission of his sentence. It then formed a committee that took a decision in favour of remission of all the 11 convicts in the case.
A statement was issued by Advocate Shobha on behalf of Bilkis Bano which stated that, “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 courts.”
She also appealed to the state government in the statement to ensure her safety and of her family members post the release of the convicts.