Opposition parties on Sunday attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in Uttar Pradesh after the rape and murder of a 13-year-old Dalit girl in Lakhimpur Kheri district. Politicians asked Chief Minister Adityanath to explain why crimes against women in the state were on the rise.

The body of the girl, who was strangled with her tongue allegedly cut, was found in a sugarcane field owned by one of the accused on Saturday. The police have arrested two men in connection with the case under charges of gang rape and murder.

Kheri Superintendent of Police Satendra Kumar said that the postmortem report confirmed the girl was sexually assaulted but has denied the family’s claim that her tongue was cut and her eyes were gouged out.

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav said the incident had shook humanity. “In the BJP rule, atrocities on children and women are at an all-time high,” the former chief minister tweeted. “Why is the BJP government shielding those who are involved in rape, kidnapping, murder and other crime?”

Congress leader Jitin Prasad too said the inhuman act had put humanity to shame and urged the state police to punish the accused. “This is an extremely saddening incident,” he wrote on Twitter. “In this episode, the police must initiate such a strong action that it becomes a deterrent for criminals.”

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati condemned the incident and criticised the Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh for the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. “What is the difference between the governments of the Samajwadi Party and the present BJP if such incidents keep happening?” she tweeted.

Bhim Army President Chandrashekhar Azad said that Dalit oppression is at its peak under the Bharatiya Janata Party government. “If this is not the Jungle Raj, then what is?” he asked on Twitter. “Our daughters are not safe, our homes are not safe, there is an atmosphere of fear everywhere. Yogi [Adityanath should] resign.”

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