Akhilesh fails to refurbish party's criminal-friendly image
Lucknow: Another girl has been found murdered, after being savaged, in Lucknow. Shocking, but not surprising because the Samajwadi Party (SP) is known to take a non-serious view of crime against women. Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s tweets notwithstanding.
Remember the SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav’s statement on gang rape? The Yadav clan’s patriarch had doubted a woman’s allegation of gang rape by naively asking how was it possible for four persons to rape a woman. As per his understanding, rape is possible only by one man.
Before that he had made the classic remark that boys being boys, they sometimes commit such mistakes (of raping a woman) but they should not be hanged for that.
In the gruesome rape and murder of a woman employee of Sanjay Gandhi Post-graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow , a blue-eyed IPS officer of the government floated the theory that the woman was of easy virtue. The government went by this theory to make light of the brutality inflicted on the victim. And that was the end of it.
In Badaun, even before the investigations could begin, the rape and murder of two cousins was shown as honour killings because those involved were close to a leader of the Samajwadi Party. The first post-mortem examination report by government doctors, which confirmed violent rape, was completely ignored. For some strange reason, the Central Bureau of Investigation team chose call the deaths honour killings, and summarily rejected the rape theory.
That is why another woman’s body being found not very far from the residence of the chief minister and the director-general of police does not come as a surprise.
The way Samajwadi Party leaders dismiss crime against women using slanderous language for the victims, sends a wrong signal to the police force, which has now been packed with men from a particular caste. If a woman is raped and killed, blame it on her loose character or her family. This is the line policemen prefer toeing. And it is this approach which emboldens criminals.
The fault is always lies that of the woman.
The encouragement from politicians and a handful of police officers, who enjoy political patronage, is turning Lucknow from being the state capital into fast becoming the crime capital of Uttar Pradesh. According to the data released by the Heinous Crime Monitoring System, 40 heinous crimes committed in Lucknow have remained unsolved. In six cases of daring loot, the offenders were yet to be arrested.
The figures were released in January.
Of the 96 murders committed in Lucknow zone in the last six months, 79 were in Lucknow, while Faizabad accounted for the remaining 17. Out of the 123 unsolved cases, Lucknow accounted for 96 and Faizabad 27. Besides, there were seven dacoities and 10 incidents of loot in Lucknow.
The UP CM may be burning the midnight oil to project himself as being development oriented, but the image of his party being criminal-friendly can hardly ever be refurbished. The sheen wears thin, despite an overly friendly media ready to do his bidding.
The writer is a former Resident Editor of Times of India and political commentator.