World Bulletin / News Desk
The incident had taken place in anti-Muslim riots in the western state of Gujarat in 2002. 12 people were awarded life imprisonment in the case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had asked the Bombay High Court to order death penalty for three of the accused -- Govind Nai, Shailesh Bhatt and Jaswant Nai -- as it has evidence that they gang-raped Bilkis Bano, a 19-year-old woman.
According to CBI, Bhatt was involved in killing Bano’s three-year-old daughter by crushing her head with a stone.
Bano had recognized her rapists during interrogation. The CBI had termed it a “rarest of rare case” and demanded death penalty for three of the convicts.
She along with other Muslims was attacked by a mob on March 3, 2002 in Dahod district. She was five months pregnant when she was raped by her fellow villagers.
She lost 14 members of her family including her three-year-old child, two sisters and mother. Only two family members of Bano survived after the violence.
However, the court accepted the plea of the CBI to reverse the acquittal of five police officers of Gujarat in the case. They were found involved with the convicts in fudging documents.
A trial court in Mumbai in January, 2008 had sentenced 12 people to life imprisonment. They later appealed in High Court against their conviction. One of the convicts has died since then.