The National Commission for Women on Thursday sought a detailed report on the action taken by the Uttar Pradesh police after five men set on fire a rape complainant earlier in the day in Unnao, PTI reported. Two of the men had allegedly raped her some months ago. One of them was on the run while the other was released on bail only last week.
The commission’s chairperson Rekha Sharma sent a letter to Director General of Police OP Singh, seeking information on the number of heinous crimes against women reported in the state in the past three years. Sharma said the commission was “disturbed” with the increase in crime rates against women in Uttar Pradesh.
“Considering the gravity of the matter, it is requested to send a detailed action taken report in the matter from the date of filing complaint of rape by the rape survivor and strict action be taken against erring officials for not providing protection to the rape victim, if found guilty,” the letter stated.
Following reports of the incident, Sharma had alleged that the police do not oppose the bail of rape accused strongly. “Police don’t oppose bail strongly and judiciary don’t think twice before granting bail to these hard core criminals and this [is] what women have to suffer,” she tweeted. “Sad that one after another such incidents are happening.”
On Thursday morning, the men allegedly attacked the woman, who was on her way to a local court for a hearing in the rape case. They doused her in petrol before setting her on fire. “Her condition is critical as she has suffered more than 90% burns,” Dr DS Negi, Director of the Civil Hospital in Lucknow told News18.
Congress General Secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi said she was hurt after reports of the incident cropped up. “The BJP government’s statement of yesterday [Wednesday] was that all is well in Uttar Pradesh,” she tweeted. “Today another statement has come. But it is the responsibility of the chief minister and Uttar Pradesh government to issue false statements and false propaganda.”
Gandhi also criticised Chief Minister Adityanath and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for claiming that the law and order situation in the state was better. “Seeing such incidents everyday angers the mind. BJP leaders should now come out of false propaganda,” she wrote in the tweet.
The party’s state unit chief Ajay Kumar Lallu said that even after such cases, the ruling party in the state was “patting its back”. “The accused, who were in jail, come out and commit another crime. No one is safe in the state,” he said, according to PTI.
Meanwhile, in the Parliament, Rajya Sabha Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu condemned the attack on the woman. “I got in contact with the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, he has explained to me that the culprits have been arrested,” he said, according to ANI.
Naidu added that prompt action needed to be taken so that such incidents do not happen again. “What is needed, is not mere arrest in one case,” he said. “We must send out a signal to the entire country & society that in such incidents action should be taken promptly, swiftly, & adequately, so these things are not repeated again.”