BJP doublespeak following another gang rape in Greater Noida
The BJP, which would vociferously demand resignation of governments following brutal rapes in the past, sings a different tune after another gang rape close to Delhi
As the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) celebrated the third anniversary of Narendra Modi being sworn in as Prime Minister on May 26, a report of a brutal gang rape of four women and the murder of a 38-year-old male relative, all of them from the minority community, rocked the National Capital.
While the gruesome crime took place late in the evening of May 24 in Greater Noida on the outskirts of Delhi, the Twitter-happy Prime Minister, or the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister, had not reacted till almost 48 hours of the crime.
Uttar Pradesh Police dismissed the incident as one of robbery because the miscreants had robbed their victims of ₹47,500 in cash, mobiles and other valuables. The family of four women and three men were travelling in a vehicle to Bulandshahr to visit a pregnant relative when, in a two-hour ordeal, one of the men was shot dead and two others roughed up badly, while the women were dragged into the fields and raped, barely three kilometres from their village.
The BJP Minister in the Yogi Adityanath government in UP, Suresh Khanna, struck a discordant note when he said, “Crime rate cannot be zero in society. Police cannot be deployed everywhere. Unlike other regimes, our government will not shield or harbour criminals. We will nab the culprits”.
Khanna, ironically, had led a delegation and called on the Governor, Ram Naik, demanding the immediate dismissal of the Akhilesh Yadav government following a similar incident in July 2016, when a woman and her daughters were raped. They too were driving to Bulandshahr. Khanna then had called for a CBI inquiry.
This week’s incident was also similar as the miscreants put spikes on the road to bring the vehicle to halt, before pulling out the women.
A grief-stricken woman of the family threatened to commit suicide. She told The Indian Express, “If I do not get justice, I will go to the police station and commit suicide. They have ruined our lives. What will happen to the women of this house.”
Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav came out strongly against the Yogi Adityanath Government, remarking that “jungle raj” had returned to Uttar Pradesh.
“People are no longer safe. This BJP Government is blaming us for criminal incidents, but why? They are in power and it is their responsibility to maintain law and order,” said Yadav. “When we were in power, the BJP used to highlight every small incident. What is happening in UP today is the total collapse of law and order,” he added.
Congress spokesman Amarnath Agarwal said that not a single day had passed when the state wasn’t rocked by crime. “In Varanasi, ₹2 crore was looted from a jeweller’s shop last month while a trader was shot dead in Lucknow – the constituency of the Union Home Minister,” he said.
“What happened in Mathura is equally shameful. Two people were killed in broad-daylight. Police arrested five people and claimed to have cracked the case but even BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj called this a sham arrest,” Agarwal added.
“If even a BJP MP claims that the arrested are innocent, this speaks volumes about policing. BJP leaders, however, have started blaming the Opposition for the deteriorating law and order. Government spokesman and Health Minister, Siddharth Nath Singh, philosophised that 15 years’ rot could not be wiped out in two months,” the Congress leader said.
He added, “Parties like Samajwadi Party and BSP are spreading a canard to malign Yogi Government which is doing good work.”
With inputs from Biswajeet Banerjee from Lucknow