The gang-rape and murder of teenage Dalit girls in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh has enraged the nation and sent shivers down the spine of the Uttar Pradesh's political leaders. But, it has also provided them the opportunity to start a blame game.
The victims not only carried the triple burden of being a girl child from lower caste and class but were also minors.
The fact that Uttar Pradesh policemen not only failed to perform their duty of promptly registering an FIR but a policeman himself was involved in the alleged gang-rape has given human rights and women's rights groups to feel more outraged than ever.
They have come out publicly to decry the involvement, apathy and callousness of the Uttar Pradesh police in the Badaun rape case.
The All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) on Saturday demanded that the policemen allegedly involved in the gang-rape and murder of two Dalit sisters in Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh be named as accused and not as "abetters" in the FIR.
The International Organisation Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) too had strong reaction to the involvement of policemen in the case.
In a statement issued on Sunday the CHRI said that they were 'shocked at news reports that the concerned police officers sided with the perpetrators' and 'even had the temerity to shoo away the family members of the girls the day the girls went missing'.
Calling it a failed state of policing, the organisation found it more shocking that the head of 'the local police outpost had ignored previous complaints of harassment of the girls by their family members.
The organisation in the statement said that the incident only demonstrated 'the complete breakdown of law and order in Uttar Pradesh and the fear under which the poor especially live'. The statement added that there can be no hope of preventing rape incidences if the law enforcement itself is apathetic to it.
The group demanded that all the penal provisions on gang-rape and murder be invoked, including the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 so that 'a message must be sent that this kind of criminality will not be tolerated, particularly against minor children.'
In order to ensure that the families of the victims get justice the group said that the UP government must arrest all the accused and fast track the case.
They specifically demanded that the police officers involved be charge under Section 166A of the Indian Penal Code that makes makes refusal by a police officer to register an FIR and investigate a female’s complaint of sexual assault a punishable offence.
The organisation also said that the entire law enforcement be rehauled to prevent incidences of such cases. Ms. Maja Daruwala, Director of CHRI, said “unless there is a full examination of the chain of command and the police is revamped from top to toe, these tragedies will continue to occur."
The women rights and human rights group have rightly closed in on a very root of crimes taking place in this Hindi hinterland.
However, since the state's chief minister Akhilesh Yadav doesn't believe that women in his state are unsafe, it is yet to be seen if the Uttar Pradesh government wants to read the writing on the wall.
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