New Delhi: National Women’s Front president Zainaba AS in a statement welcomed the Bombay High Court verdict that upheld the life sentence of 11 convicts in the 2002 gangrape case of a pregnant woman Bilkis Bano and the murder of eight members of her family during Gujarat genocide.

After 2002 Gujarat riots, various human rights groups and individuals who visited the areas had pointed out the fact that large number of the victims were women and children. They were raped, murdered and even burned alive. Balkis Banu case was a testimony to all of that. Hindutwa fanatics in power were doing everything to save the criminals and block justice to the victims ever since.

It should also be pointed out that delay in the deliverance of justice remain a major factor that give impunity to the criminals. If they are brought to book in time such occurrences can be prevented to a large extend.

Though delayed, the verdict is still a ray of hope for the victims of fascist violence who are still awaiting justice. It will restore their faith in judiciary as their last resort. The verdict is also a strong warning against the violence on women.

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