Uttar Pradesh: The Biggest Rape State
Uttar Pradesh, once known for age-old rich culture and tradition, has now become the land of sins. The horrifying series of rape is continuously haunting the women of Uttar Pradesh. A seven-year-old girl in the village of Devkali, which is located in Jaunpur’s Sujanganj district, was raped outside her house by a 17-year-old boy. In Varanasi, an auto-rickshaw driver and a rickshaw-puller have been accused of raping a 17-year-old girl in the city. In the state’s Sitapur district, another girl was the victim of an abduction and rape. The girl, who is 20 years of age, was raped by her boyfriend and three of his friends.
A 15-year-old girl was allegedly kidnapped from Mohammadpur area, was held captive, and was raped by her relative. A seven-year-old girl was allegedly raped by landlord’s son in Muzaffarnagar. A 35-year-old woman was allegedly gangraped by two of her neighbours and their associate in Bisauli police station area in Badaun district.
Furthermore, in Moradabad, the body of a 16-year-old girl was found hanging from a tree. The family has alleged that their daughter was raped and murdered. In another shocker, a 35-year-old woman was allegedly raped by a police officer in the presence of his subordinates in a police station in the state’s Hamirpur district when she went there for his husband’s release. In Ranipur as well, a body of a 45-year-old woman was found hanging from a tree in Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh after she was allegedly abducted and gangraped. The semi-nude body of the victim was found hanging with a saree from a tree in Ranipur area. Yet another girl, a 13-year-old, was gang-raped and killed in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district. The girl was strangulated to death after being raped by the assailants. Her body was found in a sugarcane field. But it seems that for UP police these horrible incidents are just a routine. In a shocker, UP DGP ML Banerjee said: “Such incidence happens every year, it is a normal routine and law and order agencies are there for it.”
Against this backdrop, coming down heavily upon comments on atrocities against women by some leaders, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked political leaders to refrain from “doing psychological analysis” of rape and respect women. “I appeal to our political leaders that we should not carry out psychological analysis of rape… Is it correct to make a statement always? Can’t we just keep quiet? Respect and security for women should be the topmost priority of the entire people,” Modi said in the Lok Sabha.
The Badaun gangrape, which shook the country to the core, has shown the extent one can go while committing such a heinous crime in this state. Two girls, cousins and minors, from the Dalit Maurya community were kidnapped, brutally gangraped and hanged from a tree in Katra Sadatganj village in UP’s Badaun district. Their gruesome pictures are being circulated on social media. This atrocious act has shown the mirror to the government who was sure of curbing the crime rates in the state.
The two minor girls were abducted by a group of seven people including two policemen, were taken to an open field and were raped with all brutality and after raping they killed the two sisters and hanged them on a mango tree. Family members of the victims went to file a missing report but police allegedly refused to file the complaint. All the five accused named in the FIR, including constables Sarvesh Yadav, Chhatrapal Yadav and three brothers Pappu Yadav, Awadhesh Yadav and Urvesh Yadav have been arrested and two are still unidentified. The Uttar Pradesh government is trying hard to shrug off the shame of Badaun rape case. The state’s Director General of Police AL Banerjee claimed that it was actually a case of “honour killing” and had nothing to do with the law and order of the state. The barbaric nature of the sexual assault on the teens could be gauged from the fact that apart from innumerable abrasions, scratches and contusions on the arms, waist and upper abdominal area, the private parts of the victims were virtually covered in blood clots. The injuries confirmed in the autopsy report prove that they had been tortured before the accused tied ropes round their necks and hung them.
The recent gangrapes have tarnished India’s image as it was criticised across the globe. The United States of America has termed this sexual violence as ‘horrifying’ and has blamed the governance of the nation. It also added that the “government is not taking enough steps for saving the victims after they have been violated”. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also demanded action against sexual violence and appealed to the society to reject the destructive attitude of “boys will be boys”.
Incident after incident of women, girls, elderly women being brutally raped and left to die, simply explains that women are not safe in our country. Lawlessness and ‘gunda raj’ during Akhliesh Yadav rule have got a steep rise. The women in the top post are as venerable as the women in the rural area. In Aligarh, an attempt of rape was made on a lady judge in her so-called ‘safe’ bungalow. Two men sneaked into the official residence of the lady judge serving in the district court when she was alone in the house and fast asleep. They tried to rape her, and injured her with a knife when she resisted. They forced an insecticide down her throat in an attempt to kill her for fear of being identified.
Another horrifying incident came to limelight just after Badaun gang-rape. A 22-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped after being forced to drink acid and later strangled to death in Bareilly. The victim’s body had been recovered from a field in Aithpura village on May 31. According to police officials, acid was detected from the stomach of the victim and her face was mutilated due to the acid poured on it.
The statistics reveals that around 4,917 rapes were committed in Uttar Pradesh in the last three years out of which 3,421 were reported from the villages. If we see the record of the last 10 months then approximately 1,723 rapes cases or attempts to rape have been registered with the police and shockingly around 1,300 are from small towns and villages. Official statistics reveal more than 13,263 cases of rape are being heard in various sessions courts across the state. In the last three months, 563 cases have been concluded with 40 of the accused convicted. On an average 10 rapes are reported everyday in Uttar Pradesh, a senior police official said quoting National Crime Record Bureau data.
One of the main of reasons behind the rape is that there is no fear of law and police’s insensitive reactions towards such incidents have kept the morale of the criminals high. The data published by the Bureau of Police Research and Development under the Ministry of Home Affairs shows that against an ideal police-to-population ratio of 1:552, a policeman is guarding 1173 people in Uttar Pradesh, whereas for the security of the VIPs, there are 3087 personnel deployed. This statistics reveals that the police have become a watchdog for the political class and how the government is using the police for its own security. Ironically, it is noteworthy that in February 2014, Azam Khan’s buffaloes got lost and half of police administration was deployed in the search of his buffaloes ignoring the crimes being committed during those days in the state. This proves why police can’t take rapid action against crimes as they are busy in protecting politicians’ assets.
UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, who has been ruling the state for last two years, has brought disgrace by ensuring no civic security in the state as law and order has been replaced by ‘gunda raj’. Starting from Muzaffarnagar riots, where the victims were left on God’s grace and the government was more interested in enjoying the Saifai festival than stopping the killing of the innocent people, people witnessed a lot of incidents where there was least control of law and order. Akhilesh Yadav, who was looked as a ray of hope, has failed the expectations of the youngster as well as the citizens of the state despite being the youngest CM of the state. His report card shows more failures than achievements, mainly leniency in crimes against women.
The steep rise in the rape cases has badly damaged the international image of India. According to the WTTC India Initiative report, recent cases of violence against women have adversely impacted the country’s image internationally. The report recommends that the government must ensure speedy trials and sensitise both state government leaders and the police. Against this backdrop, it cannot be gainsaid that in a series of unfortunate and shameful crimes of sexual violence against women reported in Uttar Pradesh, the state is seemingly heading towards becoming the biggest rape state of the country.
By Rohan Pal