A prosecution witness in the Bilkis Bano case has written to the Chief Justice of India U U Lalit alleging threats from one of the key convicts and expressing fear for his life.
Eleven Hindu men convicted for gang rape and murder during the 2002 Gujarat Muslim genocide were freed from the Godhra sub-jail last month after Gujarat BJP government panel approved their application for remission of sentence.
Imtiaz Ghanchi, the witness where the convicts and Bilkis hail from, said to the CJI that on 15 September, he was travelling from Singvad village to his current home in Devgadh Baria when a convict named Radheshyam Shah saw him and purportedly told him, “What did you get by calling me an accused, I’m out now”.
Ghanchi has stated that there is a threat to his life and in his letter to the CJI has sought “appropriate legal proceedings” against the convicts.
He has also sent copies of his representation to the Gujarat home secretary, the National Human Rights Commission, the Dahod district collector and the Dahod police.
Earlier, Ghanchi had said to the special Mumbai CBI court, he had seen one of the accused Naresh Modhiya holding a Rampuri knife in his hand and another accused Pradeep Modhiya pelting stones, besides chanting slogans near his residence in Randhikpur. On seeing the Hindu mob, Ghanchi, his mother and sister left their residence and sought refuge in the home of one Lalu Madiya Parmar, where they stayed for two days. He had further deposed that none from the mob entered Parmar’s home, but he had witnessed the burning of his residence and looting of his belongings, according to Indian Express.