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    Published On : Thu, May 4th, 2017

    Bilkis Bano verdict: HC rejects CBI plea for death sentence

     

    Mumbai: No death penalty for Gujarat riots’ victim Bilkis Bano’s rapists, says Bombay High Court.

    The Bombay High Court has ruled today that no death penalty will be awarded to three out of 11 people accused of gang-raping Bilkis Bano and brutally murdering 14 members of her family, including her three-old daughter, in Randhikpur near Ahmedabad, during the Gujarat riots of 2002.

    Five police officers have also been convicted for tampering with evidence. The court overturned the acquittal of these police officers.

    The CBI had last year told court that this was a “rarest of rare case” and that the death penalty must be awarded to three convicts to send out a “stern message.”

    The agency has alleged that there is direct evidence that the three men – Jaswant Nai, Govind Nai, and Sailesh Bhatt – gangraped Bilkis, who was five months pregnant, her sister and her mother.

    Bhatt also allegedly snatched Bilkis’ three-year-old daughter from her and crushed her head on a stone. The child died on the spot. Bilkis’s mother and sister were among the 14 of her family and 17 people from the village killed by the rioters on March 3, 2002.

    “My first impression was that Bilkis was traumatized by the enormous tragedy that had struck her.

    “Her face was expressionless and her talk listless.She said she was tired of life and was subdued throughout our meeting. Only once did she get agitated; when I asked if she hoped to get justice.”

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