Union Consumer Affairs Minister and chief of the Ram Vilas Paswan along visited Badaun district along with his son Chirag on Monday to meet the families of the two Dalit teenage girls who were brutally gang-raped and murdered last week.
Paswan is the third high-profile leader after Rahul Gandhi and Mayawati to visit the families of the victims.
He criticised Uttar Pradesh chief minister Ram Vilas Paswan for the incident, and for not visiting the village. "It is sad that the UP CM has not come even for a visit. He is either scared or he does not care," Paswan said. "It's a shameful incident, people are scared," he added.
Chirag Paswan, who is also an MP and the chairman of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP)'s Parliamentary board, said, "A few days ago, (SP chief) Mulayam Singh Yadav, 'Ladko say galti ho jati hai (Boys sometimes make mistakes). Don't the boys in UP get encouraged by such statements'?"
Two Dalit teenage girls were found hanging from a tree the next day after they were brutally gang-raped and murdered last Tuesday. Meanwhile, the police have arrested five main accused, including two policemen, in connection with the crime.
The Union minister also took a dig at Mulayam for the remarks he had made in April . "What SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said that at times boys may commit mistakes, this incident is the result of that statement," Paswan told reporters after meeting the family members of the victims.
He said the "hearing in this case should be held like the Delhi gang rape case and the accused should be punished at the earliest. A CBI inquiry should be conducted in a speedy manner and action should be taken at the earliest. I will also talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard".
Slamming the state's ruling Samajwadi Party (SP), Paswan also alleged that the SP leaders could be helping the accused, "... SP leaders are scared of the people here or they are helping the accused."
He argued that lack of toilets in houses is a major reason behind incidents of rape, and said provision of Sulabh toilets should be made available throughout the country.
Later, Paswan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed deep sorrow when he spoke to him in this regard.
The LJP chief said his party would submit a report to the Prime Minister in this regard, detailing the events that took place, along with suggestions to instill confidence among the villagers there.
Paswan first met the family members of the victims at their house at Katra Shahadatganj village, after which he went to the spot, where the bodies were found hanging.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had visited the village on Saturday, while Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supreme Mayawati was there on Sunday.
Local SP MP Dharmendra Yadav also went to the village where he faced the anger of the inconsolable parents, who alleged that the police did not take prompt action in the case because of their caste.
The girls went missing on May 27 and their bodies were found on May 28 in the district. Badaun is 300 km from Lucknow.
Three brothers Pappu Yadav, Awadhesh Yadav and Urvesh Yadav have been arrested and booked under sections 302 (murder) and 376 (rape) of the IPC, while police constables Sarvesh Yadav and Chhatrapal Yadav were also arrested and booked under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC.
The FIR was registered against seven persons, including two unnamed men who are absconding.