The Centre on Monday criticised the Uttar Pradesh government headed by Akhilesh Yadav for the deteriorating law and order situation in the state and sought exemplary punishment in the gangrape and murder of two minor girls in Badaun district.
The union home ministry has also asked the state government why a case under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Atrocities Act was not registered against the accused.
“The law is there. It is (meant) to protect the SCs and STs from atrocities. It was a clear case of (an) atrocity on a weaker section of the society. We do not know why the state government has not slapped it (clauses) against the accused," union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju said.
The Uttar Pradesh government, however, told the home ministry on Monday evening that the victims belonged to Other Backward Classes and therefore, the SC/ST Act could not have been applied against them.
Rijiju said the Badaun rape and murder was a heinous crime and that the guilty must get exemplary punishment. The UP government has asked the Centre to conduct a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the case.
The ministry also sought a report from the state government on the rape and murder of a 22-year-old woman in Bareilly. The victim’s body was found in a field on Saturday.