Bilkis Gang-rape Case - 11 Sentenced to Life

Mumbai, Jan 21:
Eleven persons were sentenced to life imprisonment on Monday in Bilkis Bano gang-rape case.    

Twelve persons were convicted by a special court in Mumbai on Friday in the gang-rape case. One policeman was also convicted for lodging false FIR. Seven other accused were acquitted by the court.

Bilkis who was six-month pregnant was gang-raped during the communal violence that erupted in Gujarat after a coach of Sabarmati Express carrying Ramsevaks from Ayodhya was set on fire on February 27, 2002. 

Bilkis was also a prime witness to the murder and rape of members of her family and community during the riots.

The trial was shifted from a court in Ahmedabad to Mumbai in August 2003 by the Supreme Court after the Central Bureau of Investigation and Bilkis expressed apprehensions that witnesses in the case could be harmed if the trial was conducted in Gujarat.

The accused allegedly attacked 17 members of the minority community in their village, which resulted in the death of eight while six were reported missing. Bilkis was one among three who survived.

Six police officers were charged with shielding the guilty while two doctors were accused of fabricating evidence.

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