Amid immense criticism and outrage following the Hathras gangrape incident, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Sunday said that his government will launch a special drive to initiate legal action against people who are a threat to women security and those indulging in corruption in their welfare schemes, reported The Indian Express.

He also expressed concern over atrocities against women by other residents of the same village, according to The Indian Express. The chief minister was speaking to women gram pradhans and public representatives, as part of ‘Mission Shakti’, a campaign aimed at women security, launched by the state government on October 17.

Meanwhile, recent studies have found that the Hathras incident of four upper caste Thakur men gangraping a Dalit woman is part of an emerging pattern. The state has witnessed an increase of 20.67% – second-highest in the country – in cases of rape against Scheduled Caste women in the last four years.

Rising crimes against women in UP

At the launch of Mission Shakti on Saturday, Adityanath said there will now be separate rooms for women complainants in 1,535 police stations across the state, where a female police constable will attend to them and there will be urgent action on their complaint.

The move comes amid a sharp rise of crimes against women in the state. At 59,583 such incidents, Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest number of such cases in 2019, according to the annual National Crime Record Bureau’s “Crime in India” 2019 report released last month. The state also had the highest number of crimes against girl children under the POCSO Act with 7,444 cases.

The furore over the poor state of affairs in Uttar Pradesh reached a tipping point following the Hathras incident. On September 14, four upper caste Thakur men raped and brutally injured a Dalit woman. On September 29, she succumbed to the serious injuries she sustained. However, the woman was hastily cremated on Wednesday midnight, without allowing her family to perform the last rites. The four accused have been arrested and the case is now being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.