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Bilkis Bano case: charges framed against accused
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, January 13
A special court in Mumbai, which is hearing the Bilkis Bano rape case, today framed charges against 19 of the 20 accused persons.

Judge U.D. Salvi of the special court did not frame charges against Dr Sangeeta Prasad as she was ill and undergoing treatment.

The Bilkis Bano gangrape-cum- massacre pertains to one of the violent incidents after the Godhra train-burning incident. Seventeen members of the minority community were set upon allegedly by the accused persons and their accomplices. With the trial process commencing, the court will record evidence on January 27. It today issued a summons to Bilkis Bano to appear in the court on that day.

According to the prosecution, the victims were attacked at Devgarh Baria village in Dahod district of Gujarat on March 3, 2002.

Six other accused are police officers and two doctors, who have been charged with shielding the guilty.

The six police officers are charged with not taking down the complaint of Bilkis in addition to intimidating her. They are Narpat Singh, Idris Abdul Sayed, Bhikhabhai Patel, Ramsingh Bhabhor, Somabhai Gori and B.S. Bhagora.

The other two accused are doctor couple Arun Kumar and Sangeeta Prasad. The duo had conducted a post-mortem on seven bodies found from the scene of crime.

According to the prosecution, injuries found on the bodies were not properly mentioned in the post-mortem reports. The case is being heard in Mumbai after the Supreme Court transferred the trial from Gujarat to Maharashtra last year.

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