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Written by on January 8, 2024

In a landmark decision today, India’s Supreme Court ordered the return to jail of 11 individuals convicted in the horrific gang rape and murders of Bilkis Bano and her family in 2002. This case, which drew international attention and sparked outrage within India, has now seen a crucial step towards justice.

Bilkis Bano, along with her two surviving children, endured a brutal attack during one of India’s worst religious riots in the state of Gujarat. The 14 victims included her three-year-old daughter and several other relatives. This tragedy unfolded during the time when current Prime Minister Narendra Modi served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

While accusations of inaction against the riots were leveled at Modi, he was cleared of any wrongdoing in 2012. However, the pain inflicted on Bilkis and her family remained, further deepened by the early release of the 11 convicts in August 2022 based on a state government panel recommendation.

Today’s Supreme Court ruling brings a glimmer of hope for justice and closure. The court ordered the convicts to return to prison within two weeks, a decision that upholds the law and reaffirms the fight against such heinous crimes.

This case serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring struggle for justice in India and the importance of holding individuals accountable for their actions, regardless of their position or influence. The Supreme Court’s decision sends a strong message that no one is above the law and that the pursuit of justice can never be silenced.

While the wounds of this tragedy may never fully heal, today’s ruling offers a measure of solace to Bilkis and her family, and hopefully serves as a deterrent against future such atrocities. The path towards true justice remains long, but this decision signifies a significant step in the right direction.

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