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Business News/ News / India/  Bilkis Bano rape case: 9 out of 11 convicts 'missing'; Dahod SP says ‘not incommunicado, meeting relatives’
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Bilkis Bano rape case: 9 out of 11 convicts 'missing'; Dahod SP says ‘not incommunicado, meeting relatives’

Eleven convicts in the Bilkis Bano rape case, who were ordered by the Supreme Court to return to jail after their remission was quashed, have not yet surrendered. Nine of the convicts are reported to be missing.

Bilkis Bano Rape Case: The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the remission granted to the 11 convicts while slamming the Gujarat government for abusing its discretion (PTI)Premium
Bilkis Bano Rape Case: The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the remission granted to the 11 convicts while slamming the Gujarat government for abusing its discretion (PTI)

Bilkis Bano rape case: The eleven convicts who were supposed to return to jail, following the Supreme Court of India order quashing Gujarat government's decision to grant them remission, are yet to surrender. Further reports have said that nine of the eleven convicts remain missing. 

Dahod SP has said that the Dahod police station have not yet received any information about the surrender of 11 convicts. A police force remains deployed in the area where the convicts live to maintain peace, he said.

The Dahod SP Balram Meena also mentioned that the eleven convicts are "not incommunicado" and some of them are visiting relatives. 

The convicts are natives of Singvad taluka where police were deployed since Monday morning, before the judgement was pronounced, to maintain law and order and ensure that communal conflict does not break out, he said.

According to a report by Indian Express,  Akhambhai Chaturbhai Raval (87), father of one of the convicts, Govind Nai (55), blamed the conviction on “political vendetta of Congress". Raval said Govind had left the house “a week ago".

Another convict, Radheshyam Shah, has not been home “since the last 15 months", his father Bhagwandas Shah said and claimed that he “doesn’t know where Radheshyam is… he went with his wife and son", even as neighbours and shopkeepers at the village square attest that nearly all the convicts were publicly seen until Sunday, including Radheshyam, reports Financial Express. 

The report further added that local villagers and shopkeeper, who attested to seeing the Bilkis Bano raope case convicts till the Supreme Court judgement now say, “You won’t find them now. All of them locked their houses and left."

The convicts are residents of twin villages of Randhikpur and Singvad. Notably, Bilkis and her family also lived in Randhikpur before the Godhra riots in 2002

The 11 convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment by a CBI special court on January 21, 2008. All of them were released on August 15, 2022, after an order by the state govt to grant them remission.

Bilkis Bano, then 21 years old and five months pregnant, was raped while fleeing after communal riots broke out in the aftermath of the Godhra train burning incident in 2002. Her three-year-old daughter and six other family members were killed.

The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the remission granted to the 11 convicts while slamming the Gujarat government for abusing its discretion. It ordered all the convicts, who were released prematurely on Independence Day in 2022, back to jail within two weeks.

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Published: 10 Jan 2024, 10:19 AM IST
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