Days after she was distraught after seeing bail being granted to the men who raped her, Musician Rabbi Shergill asked Bilkis Bano to come to Punjab and said that they will protect her with last drop of blood.
Speaking to NDTV, Shergill, who once moved the country with his song 'Bilquis' that evoked the horrific gang rape of Bilkis Bano during the 2002 Gujarat riots, said that the sardars will take care of her.
On August 15, all the 11 convicts sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2002 case of Bilkis Bano's gang rape and murder of her seven family members during the communal riots walked out of the Godhra sub-jail after the BJP government in Gujarat allowed their release under its remission policy, drawing a sever flak from Opposition parties.
They were released after the Supreme Court directed the government to consider the plea of the convicts for relief under the state's 1992 remission policy.
A special CBI court in Mumbai on January 21, 2008, sentenced to life imprisonment all the 11 accused in the case for the murder of seven family members of Bilkis Bano, a riots survivor, and her gang rape. Their conviction was later upheld by the Bombay High Court.
These convicts had served more than 15 years in prison after which one of them approached the Supreme Court with a plea for his premature release.
The apex court had directed the Gujarat government to look into the issue of remission of his sentence as per its 1992 policy based on the date of his conviction. Thereafter, the government formed a committee which decided to allow the release of all the convicts.
On March 3, 2002, Bilkis Bano's family was attacked by a mob at Randhikpur village in Limkheda taluka of the Dahod district. Bilkis, who was five months pregnant at the time, was gang raped and seven members of her family were killed during the riots triggered by the Godhra train burning incident.
(With inputs from agencies)