Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati created an embarrassing situation for the Akhilesh Yadav regime in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday when the kin of the two Dalit cousins raped and murdered in Budaun recently accepted her offer of Rs 5 lakh each as relief to the two families.
The grief-stricken relatives have refused to take a similar amount announced by the state government, saying that they wanted justice not compensation. The girls' family members have demanded a CBI inquiry and even said they wanted the rapists hanged.
"The family members told me that the local MP came this (Sunday) morning and offered compensation and all help, but they refused. They told that whatever I will give them, they will accept gladly," she said after meeting the family. SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's nephew Dharmendra is the MP from Budaun.
"I will sit on a dharna here if these people do not get justice," Mayawati told reporters who had flocked in large numbers to the Katra Sahadatpur village in the west UP district. The bodies of the girls were hanged from a tree from which they kept dangling for about two hours before the police brought them down. Visuals of the incident have shaken people across the country, while the Akhilesh government continues to draw severe flak for the alleged "lawlessness" in the state.
Since the girls were Dalits, their brutal murder and hanging is fast developing into a politically apologetic situation for the Akhilesh government. Prominent Dalit leader and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar also visited the village on Sunday. The political storm is likely to continue as Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan is scheduled to visit the grieving families on Monday.
"Under the SP regime, there is 'jungleraj' in UP," Mayawati roared. She said the Centre should dismiss the UP government and impose President's rule. "The situation is so bad that this government will fall within a year," she added. She alleged that the state administration had initially tried to hush up the case. All the seven accused in the case, including two constables, belong to the Yadav clan.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had met the victims' family on Saturday. Local Samajwadi Party MP Dharmendra Yadav, who reached the village five days after the incident, faced the anger of the inconsolable parents who alleged that the police did not take prompt action in the case because of their caste.
Mayawati stayed at the victims' house for around 20 minutes and said the financial assistance would reach them by Tuesday. The state government has agreed to refer the case to the CBI as demanded by the girls' family members.
Sulabh to build toilets in all the houses of Baduan village
Lucknow: Sulabh International will construct toilets in all the houses of Katra Shahadatganj village of Baduan, where two sisters were allegedly gang-raped and murdered last week while they went to relive themselves in fields. "Any woman defecating in the open is vulnerable and the central government must acknowledge the issue. Resources will only pour in then," Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak said. The NGO, which works in the field of low-cost sanitation, also appealed to the top business houses to adopt at least one village to end the practice of open defecation at the earliest. Pathak said the NGO will start the work of building toilets from on Monday.
Two of the accused confess
Two of the five men arrested in the case of gangrape and murder of two teenaged cousins in Uttar Pradesh have confessed to the crime, police claimed on Sunday, even as the SP government faced more criticism over the incident. The UP police asserted it was in the process of collecting "concrete" evidence to nail the culprits in court in the case which has sparked a nationwide outrage.
"Two of the accused, who have been arrested in connection with this incident, have confessed to their crime during interrogation," superintendent of police Atul Saxena said but refused to identify the men.
Three brothers Pappu Yadav, Awadhesh Yadav and Urvesh Yadav have been arrested and booked under sections 302 (murder) and 376 (rape) of IPC while constables Sarvesh Yadav and Chhatrapal Yadav were also arrested and booked under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC.
Between January 2013 and January 2014, over 9,500 cases of rape, attempt to rape, and assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty have been reported in Uttar Pradesh, according to official sources in the UP Police. This marks an increase of about 50% over the previous year.
"On an average, 10 cases of rape are reported in the state every day," says IG (Crime) Ashish Gupta. He said 60% to 65% of these incidents took place when the women went to attend the nature's call in the open due to lack of toilets in most houses in villages.
In the past 24 hours itself, five cases of rape with minor girls have been reported from Gorakhpur, Ballia, Balrampur and Lakhimpur. Besides, a young student was set on fire by goons in Basti as she had resisted their lewd advances.