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Why UP is a fertile ground for crime against women?

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|By Narendra Kaushik|
  • May 26, 2014
Mother of a rape victim brutalized, stripped in public by the father of the accused and his four accomplishes a fortnight after her daughter was raped in Etawah, the hometown of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
  • May 28, 2014
Two teenage sisters abducted, gang raped and hanged from a tree in Katra village of Badaun District. The accused aided by two police constables.
  • May 30, 2014
An adolescent dalit girl gang raped in Saraimeer area of Azamgarh.
  • June 1, 2014
A minor girl allegedly abducted and gang raped in Begumganj area of Gonda district. Rescued two days later.
  • June 2, 2014
A 22-year-old girl allegedly made to drink acid, gang raped, mutilated and murdered near Bareilly.
  • June 3, 2014
An additional civil judge allegedly forced to drink toxic disinfectant and sexually assaulted in high security judges’ compound in Aligarh. Three rapes or attempted rapes reported from Greater Noida.
  • June 4, 2014
A woman allegedly gang raped in Greater Noida by three men before her family members held captive by their four accomplices.
  • June 5, 2014
A woman allegedly gang raped in Gauriganj area of Amethi over land dispute. Two minor sisters gang raped at gun point in Etah.
  • June 7, 2014
A woman waylaid, gang raped by five men in a village in Muzaffarnagar. Body of a 15-year-old girl who was missing for three days found. Feared to have been killed after sexual assault.

12 days, 16 rapes

The sordid saga of assaults on women in Uttar Pradesh continues unabated. 

Here is what makes the state fertile ground for crime against women:

Inadequate Security

Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), a national consultative organization which works on modernization and training of police, say that ideally there should be 176 policemen per lakh population (a policeman per 568 persons).

In Uttar Pradesh it is more than double (a policeman per 1173 persons) of the ideal in the state and over 404 more than the national average (a policeman per 761 persons).

That despite all its lacunae, the police presence is a deterrent to criminals can be gauged from the fact that during parliamentary elections when 1102 out of 1576 police personnel were sent out from Gautam Budh Nagar (includes Noida/Greater Noida etc) District on election duty, there was a huge spurt in crime.

At least seven new gangs of criminals started operating in the district in addition to existing 41 gangs between April 30 and May 16. What makes the police to population ratio so poor is that the existing strength, according to a report filed in Supreme Court by UP Government in April last year, of the police is not even half of the sanctioned strength (1.76 lakh against the sanctioned strength of 3.68 lakh).

To top it all,

Over 3,000 police personnel were deployed in protection of about 1,500 VIPs (politicians, doctors, Vice-Chancellors, government advocates and member of Central Film Broadcast Board) in the state in February last year with over 10,000 applications pending for security cover.

Akhilesh Government has 58 ministers, over 13 more than Narendra Modi’s Government. Besides, it has 84 Samajwadi Party members who enjoy minister of state rank after deducting the 36 who were recently stripped of the rank on account of party’s rout in elections.

Criminalization of Politics

Despite rhetoric against checking criminals’ entry in politics, no political party has ever tried to cleanse their flock. The result, the phrase criminalization of politics stands on its head and has become politicization of crime with around

50 per cent of Samajwadi Party (SP)’s tally (206) having criminal cases pending against it and percentage of criminals in UP Assembly having risen from 78 in 2007 to 189 in 2012.

Direct fallout of the phenomenon is that such politicians leave no stone turned in protecting and promoting criminal gangs.They even pressurize bureaucracy and police not to act against criminals.

The suspension of IAS office Durga Shakti Nagpal was a major example of this. Nagpal was suspended after she took on sand mafia in Greater Noida. Local Samajwadi Party leader Narendra Bhati’s boast that he got Durga Shakti suspended in flat 41 minutes did point out how Akhilesh Government can be manipulated.

BJP MP from Gautam Budh Nagar Mahesh Sharma is sure the regional parties (read SP, BSP) patronize crime.

Politicization of police

It is an open secret that police stations get compromised on the basis of caste across the length and breadth of the country. You put officers of a particular caste on top of police stations and people of that caste will be emboldened to take law into their hands.

This is what has happened in Uttar Pradesh.

Since Akhilesh Government took over, it has placed Yadav SOs (In commisionerate system they are known as SHOs) in almost 60 per cent of state’s 1,527 police stations.

In Badaun District where the two girls were allegedly abducted, gangraped and hanged, 16 out of the 25 police stations have Yadav SOs. Incidentally, all five accused in the case also belonged to the same caste.

A consequence of politicization is that police form special teams to locate Minister Azam Khan’s missing buffaloes but do nothing to check crime against women. 

Attitude of the ruling class

Unlike states like Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where it is an aberration that certain politicians try to blame rapes on victims, in Uttar Pradesh it seems to have become a norm with politicians of the ruling party – SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rajya Sabha MP Ramgopal Yadav, State PWD Minister Shivpal Yadav and Akhilesh – coming up with bizarre explanations.

If Mulayam Singh justifies violence against women by saying ‘boys will be boys, his brother Ramgopal takes it even further and blames rapes on failed relationships.

“In many places, when the relationship between girls and boys come out in open, it is termed as rape,”

is what Ramgopal said in Delhi earlier this week.

The feudal Yadav clan cannot accept the fact that in democracy media has a right to ask questions on behalf of people. Putting the buck at door of the press does not absolve them of their culpability. If it could, United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon would not be appalled by Badaun.

Blundering cops

Think of UP policeman and what comes to mind is a burly man, with an unusual large paunch and whiskers holding an archaic rifle. He does not act against criminals, forever looks up to his political bosses for directions and goofs up regularly.

Be it Nithari where the local police refused to take note of complaints till the gore and cannibalism at Mohinder Singh Pandher’s house blew up in their face, Arushi Talwar murder case where the police botched up the entire probe including name of the victim (A top police officer called her Shruti) or Badaun gang rapes and murders where they are now sniffing honour killing, the number of cases where the police have slipped in recent times is fairly long. And it is still growing.

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