WATCH: Bilkis Bano's faith in judiciary shaken, but have sought remission order, says husband
Zafar Agha, Chief Editor of Quami Awaz, speaks to Bilkis Bano's husband Yaqoob Rasul Patel about how they plan to counter early release of 11 men convicted of raping her and killing her family members
Even as the country celebrated the 75th Independence Day on August 15, 11 men serving life imprisonment for raping Bilkis Bano and murdering her family members during the Gujarat riots in 2002 were set free by the Gujarat Government after approving their application for remission.
The news came as a shock for sane and reasonable people across India and abroad. But it was especially upsetting and heartbreaking for the victim, Bilkis Bano, and her family members.
Zafar Agha, Chief Editor of Qaumi Awaz, talked to her husband Yaqub Rasul Patel about how the development affected his wife and family.
He said that the news of the release of the 11 convicts, of which he learnt about on social media and later television, came as a shock for them all, but particularly for his wife.
"I broke the news to Bilkis and she was really shaken up by it. She became numb. It came like an electric shock for her. Presently, she is in deep pain," Patel said.
He said that they had been living under the shadow of fear ever since the court proceedings began and had been forced to shift home several times. "Now, they are out of jail, but we used to be afraid even when they came out on parole," he said.
He said that they had been forced to leave their village a long time, and now even their acquaintances were moving out due to an atmosphere of terror.
Yaqub Rasul Patel says that after the Supreme Court judgment upholding the punishment awarded to the 11 men and announcing compensation for the victim, they had tried hard to move on with life.
“We have sought the documents related to the remission order. Once we get them, we will decide what legal action can be taken next. But Bilkis says that her faith in judiciary is shaken now,” Yaqub said.
Watch the full interview: