Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, whose government is being shredded by the opposition over the alleged gang rape and torture of a 20-year-old in Hathras and the police handling of the case, today claimed it has a “zero tolerance” policy on crimes against women.
“UP Govt has a policy of zero tolerance against crimes. Due to continuous action by the state government, there has been a significant reduction in crimes against girls/women,” he said.
The state, according to data by the National Crime Records Bureau, has the highest rate of crimes against women. In 2019, Uttar Pradesh recorded Uttar Pradesh 59,853 cases of crimes against women – up from 59,445 cases in 2018.
On Wednesday, the Chief Minister had asked the officials to conduct a special campaign on the safety of women during the Navratri festival, which is beginning on October 17. He has also asked the police to take prompt action in cases involving women and girls and deal with these issue with sensitivity.
In a Hindi tweet on Sunday, Yogi Adityanath said the state police still has to be “sensitive and proactive” in dealing with cases linked to women.
The police handling of the issue, including a 2 am cremation of the woman’s body, keeping her family locked up, had drawn opposition criticism.
On Wednesday, the state Congress said the affidavit filed by the government in the Supreme Court was a “white lie”.
“The Uttar Pradesh government, in the affidavit filed before the Supreme Court, has said that the cremation of the alleged gangrape victim was done with the consent of her family although everybody knows that the woman’s family was not present there,” Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India. “This is nothing but a white lie spoken before the apex court,” she added.
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has also picked up the issue, saying it is a matter of “immense public importance and public interest as it involves allegation of high-handedness by the state authorities, resulting in violation of basic human and fundamental rights not only of the deceased victim but also her family members”.
The woman, the court said, was treated with “extreme brutality by the perpetrators of the crime”. What happened after that, “if true, amounts to perpetuating the misery of the family and rubbing salt in their wounds,” the court said, pointing to the 2 am police cremation.