UNNAO: With 86 rape cases having been reported in Unnao from January to November this year, this district now qualifies to be known as the "rape capital" of Uttar Pradesh.
Unnao, with a population of about 31 lakhs, is located about 63 km from Lucknow and around 25 km from Kanpur.
According to reports, 185 cases of sexual harassment of women have also been reported from this district during the same period.
Some of the prominent cases, apart from that of Kuldeep Sengar and the Thursday's incident in which the rape victim was set ablaze, are the rape of a woman in Purwa for which the FIR was lodged on November 1 this year.
Cases have been filed in Asoha, Ajgain, Makhi and Bangarmau in Unnao for rape and molestation.
In most cases, the accused have either been arrested and released on bail or are absconding.
The local people blame the police for the prevailing state of affairs.
"The police in Unnao have become completely politicised. They do not move an inch unless they have the permission of their political bosses. This attitude is encouraging criminals," said Raghav Ram Shukla, a resident of Ajgain.
Some of the top politicians in Uttar Pradesh belong to Unnao. They include UP Assembly Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit, UP Law Minister Brijesh Pathak and BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj.
"Crime is egged on by politics here. Politicians are using crime to settle political scores and the police remain their stooges. Even when farmers resorted to violence over land acquisition for a new township recently, they remained on the defensive. There has not been one incident in which the police have acted tough," said a local lawyer.
The Unnao rape case involving BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar is a classic example of this.
When the rape victim first lodged a complaint, no action was taken for almost nine months till the complainant came to Lucknow and attempted to immolate herself outside the Chief Minister's residence.
The victim's father was arrested and the accused MLA's brother was allowed to thrash him in police custody till he died.
Even after media pressure forced the arrest of Kuldeep Sengar and his brother, the police remained negligent about the victim's security and the result was the car crash in July this year in which the victim and her lawyer were critically injured while two of her aunts died.
In case, of the victim who was set ablaze by the accused persons on Thursday, the police did not bother to ensure the security of the victim when the accused were released on bail on November 30.