SC’s Judgment Will Give Hope to Other Victims, Says Bilkis Bano

Bilkis will create a fund in memory of her first child Saleha, using the money she will receive as compensation.

2 min read

Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma


Bilkis Bano, who was gang-raped during the 2002 Gujarat riots, on Wednesday, 24 April, said the Supreme Court's order to the state government to provide her compensation, along with a job and accommodation, will give hope to other victims.

She, however, lamented that her family did not get any support and protection from the state government during their 17-year-long battle for justice.

"My case is about the shameful failure of the state in protecting its people," Bano told a press conference and added that she faced much hardship in the years following the riots.

The Supreme court Tuesday directed the Gujarat government to give Rs 50 lakh compensation, a job and accommodation to Bano who was gang-raped while seven of her family members were killed.

The top court also directed the state government to pay her the compensation within two weeks.

Bano said the Supreme Court's direction to the Gujarat government has reaffirmed her faith in judiciary and the Constitution.


Expressing gratitude to the judiciary for "acknowledging her suffering and struggle," she said she will create a fund in the memory of her first child Saleha who was brutally killed by a mob in front of her eyes, during the riots.

She said her elder daughter (16), who was in her womb during the 2002 violence, wants to be a lawyer to fight for justice for others.

She said it can help other women survivors of communal violence in their journeys for justice.

“The apex court understood my pain, my suffering and my struggle to regain the constitutional rights that were lost to me in the violence of 2002. No citizen should have to suffer at the hands of the state whose duty is to protect us,” Bano said.

The 38-year-old said she could not even give a proper burial to her daughter Saleha, a feeling which has always haunted her and the "hateful and fearful" thoughts of communal violence have tormented her ever since.

"I pray today that the spirit of the victims like her, the courage of survivors, the struggles of ordinary citizens, and the democratic institutions of India will come together again and again to end the hate and fear that is gripping our country," she said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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