ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Zahira Shaikh: 'Victim' of Justice

W hile we, the members of womens groups and concerned citizens in India, welcome the Supreme Courts interventions in matters relating to the carnage in Gujarat, we are dismayed at its stringent verdict on March 8, 2006 that pronounced one-year imprisonment to Zahira Shaikh for having committed contempt of court. Zahira is not a routine hostile witness; she is primarily an injured witness, who has been used as a pawn in the unfolding drama of state politics. While the court has punished Zahira, it has not passed similar stringent orders against politicians like Madhu Srivastava, who intimidated Zahira to change her testimony even though the fact has been brought on record. We are dismayed that those who systematically planned and implemented heinous crimes have gone scot-free because the law enforcement system failed to implicate them with enough evidence. In the end, it is the vulnerable victim who has had to bear a criminal sentence.

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