9 December 2023
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All the eleven convicts sentenced to life imprisonment for gang rape and murders during the 2002 Gujarat riots have been freed, according to Indian media reports.

The 11 convicts walked out of Godhra sub-jail after the Gujarat government allowed their release under its remission policy, said the reports.

Bilkis Bano case

Bilkis Bano was gang raped and her three-year-old daughter Saleha was among 14 people killed by rioters on March 3, 2002, in Limkheda area of Dahod district in Gujarat.

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, died in the 2002 riots. Bano’s case was one of the most horrific episodes of the large-scale violence.

The trial in Bano’s case initially began in Ahmedabad. When Bano expressed apprehensions over witnesses being harmed, the top court, in August 2004, transferred the case to Mumbai.

On January 21, 2008, a special court convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment 11 men for the incident. It, however, acquitted seven persons including the policemen and two doctors who were accused of tampering with evidence.

In April 2019, the Supreme Court had directed the Gujarat government to give Rs50 lakh to Bano as compensation, along with a job and accommodation of her choice.

Abdul Gh Lone