May 08, 2017

India: Invitation to Press Conference in support of Bilkis Bano (New delhi, May 8th, 2017)


WHAT: Press Conference to be addressed by BILKIS BANO, brave survivor of one of the worst episodes of communal sexual assault and murder in independent India.

WHEN: Monday, May 8, 2017 at 12 noon

WHERE: Press Club of India, Raisina Road, Delhi

On May 4th 2017, the Bombay High Court delivered a historic verdict in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape and murder case, among the most heinous in the Gujarat 2002 violence.

· First time 5 Gujarat police officers convicted of evidence tampering and cover up; thus complicit in mass murder and gang rape of a pregnant 19 year old
· Conviction of 11 men who gang-raped and murdered is upheld.
· CBI appeal for death penalty for three main rapists and murderers is refused

What does this verdict and journey to justice mean for a woman violated at the young age of 19, because the State failed her? For, this comes 15 long years after Bilkis’s life was torn apart.

Is Bilkis Bano disappointed today, because she did not get the death penalty for those who gang-raped her and murdered her family, including her baby daughter Saleha?

What does this verdict mean for today’s India, with growing violence against Muslim minorities?
What does this verdict mean for State complicity in mass sexual violence? For holding the State accountable for its crimes?
Is this a ray of hope for India’s constitutional values?
Or, is it too little too late?

Addressing these questions will be:

Ø Bilkis Bano

Ø Yakub Rasool (Bilkis Bano’s husband)

Ø Shonali Bose (Director of National Film Award winner – Amu, and the critically acclaimed Margarita with a Straw)

Ø Dr. N.C. Saxena (Retd Senior IAS. Former member, Planning Commission and NAC)

Ø Vijay Hiremath (Human Rights Lawyer for Bilkis Bano in the Bombay High Court)

Ø Vani Subramanian, Prominent Women’s Rights Activist (Saheli) and Film-Maker

Organisers: Many concerned citizens of India, including Farah Naqvi (Delhi), Madhavi Kuckreja (Lucknow), Gagan Sethi (Gujarat), Malini Ghose, Huma Khan, and Dipta Bhog. For more information: 9811105521, 09984616000, 9891400302