NEW DELHI, June 2 (Xinhua) — India’s ruling Bhratiya Janata Party (BJP) government has stepped into the case of a horrifying gang rape case in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, in a show of strong governance after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power last month.
The BJP, now an all-powerful party with absolute majority of seats in the Parliament, said it might intervene in Uttar Pradesh over lawlessness, where gang rape and murder of women is being reported on a daily basis.
The Uttar Pradesh Police fired water cannon on Monday at a group consisting mostly of women protesting outside the office of Uttar Pradesh chief minister’s office in state capital Lucknow against the gang-rape and murder of two girls in the state’s Badaun district, television footage showed.
Several hundred protesters, mostly BJP women’s wing members, were demanding an end to violence against women.
“We’re not going to sleep, we’ll be here, they have to stop this (violence against women),” a protester told NDTV channel during the demonstration.
Two young teenager cousins, aged 14 and 12, were found hanging from a mango tree in Badaun. Medical tests showed they had been the victim of multiple sexual assaults.
The girls, belonging to a lower caste, had apparently gone into the fields on Tuesday night to relieve themselves because their home did not have toilets. They were attacked by a group of men belonging to a higher caste who raped, tortured and killed them before hanging them on a mango tree at the entrance of the village.
Five people, including two police officers, were later arrested for suspected role in killing the two girls. At least two have confessed to the killing, according to local media reports.
The Union Home Ministry also has asked Uttar Pradesh government why proper law was not used against the culprits in the case.
Union minister Kalraj Mishra described the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh as “very grave” and said the central government would step in if Uttar Pradesh governor sends a report on the situation in the state.
He blasted the state government for not being able to provide security to women in the state and alleged that the government was soft on criminals.
Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP sought the Union home ministry’s intervention over the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.
This follows a first-hand probe by the party’s state unit in the recent rape and murder cases in Badaun, Etawah and Azamgarh.
State BJP president Laxmikant Bajpayi said crime against women was on the rise and the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party government had failed to control the situation.
The case has drawn international attention and the United Nations Secretary General Pan Ki Moon has condemned the case.
The gang rape is also the most sensational one since a young girl student was gang raped by six men and killed on a moving bus in south Delhi in December 2012.
Four of the six were sentenced to death, one committed suicide and a juvenile offender was given light sentence.
Coincidentally, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s father, Mulyaam Singh Yadav, was earlier widely criticized for saying that the Delhi gang rape criminals should not be sentenced to death and calling them “boys”.
Moreover, the chief minister’s family also belong to the same ” Yadav” caste of the killers of the two girls in Badaun.