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Bilkis to appear in court on Mar 9

March 06, 2005 15:42 IST

Defence lawyers will cross-examine Bilkis Bano, the prime witness and victim of the gang rape and murder in the aftermath of the Gujarat riots in 2001, in a special court in Mumbai on March 9.

Bilkis will depose before special judge U D Salvi in an in-camera trial.

A mob had attacked members of the minority community in Gujarat's Dahod district on March 3, 2002. Eight were killed and six others were reported missing, while three -- Bilkis Bano, Hussain and Sadaam -- survived the attack.

Prosecutor R K Shah had claimed that Bilkis had identified 12 accused during the previous hearing.

Of the 20 accused, eight, including a doctor couple, are charged with shielding the guilty. The medicos had performed the post-mortem of the victims, while the other six are police officers.

During her earlier deposition, Bilkis had pointed at the accused who had allegedly raped her and those who had killed her three-year-old daughter.

She, however, had not recognised the policemen but reported their names to the trial court.

On January 13, the court had framed charges against the accused for their alleged complicity in the crime.

On August 6, 2003, the Supreme Court had shifted Bilkis's trial from Ahmedabad to Mumbai after the victim and the Central Bureau of Investigation expressed apprehension that witnesses could come to harm if the trial was held in Gujarat.

Earlier reports:

Bilkis appears before court for in-camera deposition

Bilkis Bano identifies 12 accused

My statements not recorded: Bilkis

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The Gujarat Riots: The Complete Coverage

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