The Bilkis Bano case is in the headlines these days. The Gujarat government on Monday told the Supreme Court that the work of seeking approval from the central government to grant pardon to the 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang rape case was done. The petitioners challenging this clemency are nothing but "obstructors in the work of others" and "they have nothing to do with it".
The Gujarat government further said that since the investigation in this case was done by the CBI, it had taken "appropriate orders" from the Center to grant pardon to the culprits. Let us discuss here that on behalf of the Gujarat government, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Subhasini Ali, independent journalist Revati Laul and former Lucknow University vice-chancellor Roop Rekha Verma have filed their reply on the public interest litigation.
The affidavit was filed by Mayursinh Metubha Vaghela, Under Secretary, Home Department, Government of Gujarat in which it has been said that I respectfully state that on perusal of the circumstances in which this petition has been filed, it has been found that the petitioner is not the aggrieved person. is rather a stranger.
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Significantly, 21-year-old Bilkis Bano was gang-raped during the post-Godhra train fire riots and seven family members, including her three-year-old daughter, were killed. She was five months pregnant at the time of the incident.
Padyatra in support of Bilkis
Earlier in the month of September, Ramon Magsaysay awardee social activist Sandeep Pandey and others were detained at Sevlia in Kheda district of Gujarat for taking out a padyatra without permission to express solidarity with the 2002 riots victim Bilkis Bano. was taken. Pandey and others were taken into custody by the Panchmahal police in Godhra for planning a padyatra from Randhikpur village in Bilkis Bano's village in Dahod district. He was later released at the Kheda border.