The Tragic 2002 Gujarat Riots Story Of Bilkis Bano Will Send Shivers Down Your Spine
- IWB Post
- November 24, 2015
No one can forget the 2002 Gujarat riots, and the instance of Bilkis Bano is one that still makes us shiver. Bilkis was 19 when the riots happened. She was brutally gang-raped and was left to die by some demons who killed 14 of her family members.
Below is Bilkis herself, telling her story about how her abusers are finally behind the bars after she fought a decade-long legal fight. This story was first published here.
“All the 4 men of my family were killed brutally. The women were stripped naked and raped by many men. They caught me too. My 3-year old daughter, Saleha, was in my arms. They snatched her and threw her into the air with all their might. My heart broke as her little head shattered on the rocks. Four men caught me by the arms and legs and many others entered me one by one. When satisfying their lust, they kicked me and beat my head with a rod. Assuming that I was dead they threw me into the bushes.
Four or five hours later I regained my consciousness. I searched for some rags to cover my body, but couldn’t find any. I spent a day and a half on a hilltop without food or water. I longed for death. Finally I managed to find a tribal colony. Declaring myself as a Hindu I sought shelter there.
Those men were using such foul language, I can’t repeat it ever. In front of me they killed my mother, sister and 12 other relatives. While raping and killing us, they were shouting sexual abuses. I could not even tell them that I was five months pregnant because their feet were on my mouth and neck.
The conviction and imprisonment of my rapists do not mean the end of hatred. But it does mean that somewhere justice can succeed. I have known the men who raped me for many years. We sold them milk. They were our customers. If they had any shame, they would not have done this to me. How can I forgive them?”
– Bilkis Bano, 2002 Gujarat riots victim, who fought for ten years on her own, to ensure that her rapists were convicted.