The chilling gang-rape of a woman and her minor daughter in front of the eyes of their immediate family members at Bulandshahr has once again exposed the jungle raj that Uttar Pradesh has become under the Samajwadi Party government. Graphic details of the crime have sent shock waves across the country and it is no exaggeration to say that now, one fears travelling to the State. In the wake of the outrage, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav did, what has now become the norm after every horrific crime: shunt out a few officials. He should realise that measures like that cut no ice, not anymore. What is needed is justice for the victims and security for the people. The minimum that any government is supposed to deliver.
Sadly, on this count, the State government has been consistently falling short. A glance at stats pertaining to the State from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is enough for the government to realise its own failure. According to the NCRB, Uttar Pradesh came out as the most unsafe State for women in 2014 with a staggering 38,467 cases. In 2013, it topped the chart with 32,546 cases. Worse, the State witnessed a 50 per cent spurt in rape cases in 2013, compared to the previous year. It also had the dubious distinction of registering the most number of gang-rapes, 573, in 2014, with cases of abduction of women and girls crossing the 10,000 mark! These are all reported cases. The actual figure could be even higher.
The least the government could have done was increase police patrolling, which goes a long way in curbing crime. The oft-cited reason for poor policing is shortage of personnel. The State has about 1.8 lakh police personnel for a population of over 20 crore. Granted the police are stretched thin, but it is no secret that they have been compromised under the Akhilesh regime, with party workers calling the shots. It’s time for the government to show some sense of urgency and clamp down on criminal elements.