Even as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav claims that the law and order situation in the state is under control, two police constables were shot dead earlier today.
And despite his continued insistence that things are much worse in other states, it is hard, even for him, to brush the increased incidences of violence under the carpet. The state of affairs seem to be fast spiralling out of any semblance of control or authority.
In just the last week, there have been numerous attacks on BJP leaders in the state, resulting in the murder of three of those leaders.
On June 15, police had recovered the dead body of Rakesh Rastogi in a Santro at the Baheri-Nanital highway.
Rastogi is the third BJP leader to be killed over two weeks in UP. Earlier, BJP leader Vijay Pandit was gunned down in Dadri last week, while Muzaffarnagar BJP leader Om Veer Singh was killed on Tuesday. BJP worker Puneet Singhal was shot at in Bulandshahr on Wednesday and was critically injured.
Unidentified gunmen attacked another BJP leader Devendra Sharma's house in Mathura on Sunday. Sharma's mother received a gunshot wound while the shooters escaped.
On the same day, an attempt was also made on the life of newly-elected BJP MP Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti allegedly by three people but she managed to escape unhurt.
Crimes against women in the state have also increased considerably. The Badaun case of minor girls who were allegedly gang-raped and then found hanging from trees led to outrage from across the country and the world, raising a clarion call for Yadav's resignation.
However, it made little difference and the incident was followed by several identical attacks in the days after. On June 12, the body of a 19-year-old girl was found hanging from a tree in a village in Moradabad district.
On the same day, the body of a 45-year-old woman was found hanging from a tree in Bahraich in eastern UP. The woman, belonging to the backward caste, was allegedly abducted and gang-raped before being murdered and hung from a tree.
Then, again, a 32-year-old woman was allegedly held captive and gang-raped by three persons, including the son of a policeman, in the Bisauli area of Uttar Pradesh's Badaun district on June 15.
But even though Yadav remains to be under fire for his inability to bring the situation under control, he insists that his state was better than many other parts of the country. “Whenever somebody asks me about law and order, I say it is a very important subject and it is the government's responsibility to ensure that it remains in good condition. It is fine in UP and better than in many other states... That is why investors have come in such large numbers," he said. Read more
This despite an National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report that terms the state the "worst" in India in terms of law and order. The number of violent crimes touched a high of 33,824 incidents in 2012, including nearly 2,000 rapes and 4,966 murders, it suggests.
Voicing concern over the Badaun rape case and other crimes in Uttar Pradesh, Press Council of India (PCI) chairperson Markandey Katju said it is high time that the Akhilesh government corrects the trend or else the the law of the jungle will prevail in the state. He said that in Sanskrit the word 'matsya nyaya' means the state of affairs when the big fish devours the smaller one. "Is Uttar Pradesh descending into a state of matsya nyaya? The facts certainly indicate in that direction," Katju said in a write-up. Read more
Yadav's indifference towards state of affairs, coupled with an absolute disregard for law enforcement in Uttar Pradesh, not only raises pertinent questions but also makes a strong case for need of a presidential rule in the state.