When two ruling party MLAs got life imprisonment in May this year for murder, the BSP-led government in UP had reasons to pat itself on the back for improving the state’s record on the criminal justice front.
But the positive image has crumbled in just a month or so, with seven cases of atrocities against women reported over the past two days.
Realising this, the state government has fielded two of its most trusted officials — information secretary Prashant Trivedi and special director general Brij Lal — to blunt the opposition charge of being negligent on this count. But both have ended up sparking a fresh round of political slugfest in the state, where the assembly elections are due in less than a year.While Trivedi said Samajwadi Party (SP) workers were behind the rape bid on the 14-year-old Dalit girl in Kannauj, which is party leader Akhilesh Yadav’s constituency, Brij Lal ruffled a few feathers by mentioning that of the three accused in the Etah gangrape, one had been identified as Mulayam Singh Yadav, a namesake of the SP chief.
The SP is annoyed. It feels Brij Lal had taken the name of the party supremo on purpose just to tarnish the SP’s image.
In the meantime, Akhilesh Yadav rushed to his constituency, denied Trivedi’s statement and demanded an independent high-level inquiry into the Kannauj incident.
SP chief whip Ambika Chaudhary said: “What is Trivedi trying to prove by telling the media that the two rape accused were SP men? They are not. Even if they were, what’s the point in telling which party they belong to? The BSP government is shielding criminals … law and order has crashed in the state.”
UP Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi attacked chief minister Mayawati saying, “It’s surprising that such crimes against women are taking place under a woman (CM's watch).”
UP BJP chief Surya Pratap Shahi said, “Under the BSP UP has become a rape state.”
Special DG (law and order) Brij Lal answers a few questions on the situation in UP:
Why there has been sudden spurt in the cases of crime against woman in Uttar Pradesh?
According to the report of the national crime record bureau, there had been a decrease in crime against women in UP in comparison to other states. The ratio of crime against women in UP (per lakh) was 11.9%. The ratio of rape case per lakh was 0.9 %.
What action has been taken by the police department for quick disposal of the rape cases?
Rape cases are treated as special report case in UP. In other states rape cases are treated as any other investigation case. The DGP office monitors the investigation of the rape cases. The IGP and DIG review the progress of probe in respective zones and divisions.
What measures have been taken to check crime against woman?
The DGP has already issued a letter to the superintendent of police, DIG and IGP in this regard.