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Law & Order still a concern in Uttar Pradesh

Before the horrific incident in Unnao on Thursday, a similar case was reported from UP’s Sambhal a fortnight ago when a 15-year-old girl was raped and burnt as she succumbed to her injuries in Delhi last week. Opposition leaders Akhilesh Yadav and Priyanka Gandhi have raised over half a dozen more shocking incidents of sexual crimes in UP over the past month.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 06, 2019, 07.17 AM IST
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Yogi government has come under fire from oppn over recent Sambhal, Mainpuri rape cases
NEW DELHI: The law and order situation remains a potential Achilles Heel for the Yogi Adityanath regime in Uttar Pradesh. While the chief minister claimed on Wednesday that organised crime has been eliminated from UP through tough action such as police encounters, but recent incidents of assaults on women and children tell a different story.

Before the horrific incident in Unnao on Thursday, a similar case was reported from UP’s Sambhal a fortnight ago when a 15-year-old girl was raped and burnt as she succumbed to her injuries in Delhi last week. Opposition leaders Akhilesh Yadav and Priyanka Gandhi have raised over half a dozen more shocking incidents of sexual crimes in UP over the past month, while sharpening their attacks on the BJP government.

In fact, after Gandhi tweeted last week about inaction in a rape-cum-murder case of a school student in Mainpuri and also wrote to the CM, the UP government finally set up an Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the case and removed both the district magistrate and police chief of the district. Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav too raised the issue of the rape and murder of a girl in Rae Bareli and another such incident in Chitrakoot.

“Opposition should not derive political mileage from such incidents. The fact remains that unlike in the Samajwadi Party regime, culprits are not being protected and tough action is being taken under the present regime,” BJP’s UP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi told ET.

But SP spokesperson Udayveer Singh said the recent crimes only proved that criminals enjoyed impunity from the law and were not scared of the police.

“What message do you send across the state when you keep rape accused Chinmayanand in hospital and put the rape victim in jail? The message sent is that the government is with the oppressors. Security is not provided to rape victims even after the accused step out on bail -- we saw what happened with the Unnao rape victim. The only thing that the Yogi government is counting is how many encounters have been done,” Singh told ET.

A senior BJP leader, however, countered the argument, saying that the SP regime was marked by the Badaun hanging case of two sisters and Yadav had no moral right to talk on the issue.

“CM Yogi set up SITs to probe cases against Kuldeep Singh Sengar and Chinmayanand -- it did not matter that they belonged to the BJP. But in the SP regime, Akhilesh Yadav made rape accused minister Gayatri Prajapati a star face of the party and even gave him a ticket in the 2017 assembly elections,” Tripathi said.

The Congress under Priyanka Gandhi in UP has, meanwhile, turned most aggressive on cases of sexual crimes and other law and order incidents, with party leaders saying she plans to make the issue a mainstay of her campaign against the Yogi government.

Gandhi visited Sonbhadra after the mass killing of tribals there and had also criticised the police action against farmers in Unnao.
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