“There is absolute goonda raj in Uttar Pradesh”

Angered over the deteriorating law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath has written to Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, demanding action against policemen for not taking any action against Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Purshottam Narain Dwivedi who has been accused of raping a teenaged girl along with accomplices.

Instead, the police have arrested the victim on theft charges based on a complaint by Mr. Dwivedi.

“I have written to the Home Minister seeking action against the policemen who acted on the complaint of an influential person and chose to arrest the girl on charges of theft, which are yet to be proven,” she told The Hindu here.

Fearing for the victim's security, Ms. Tirath said she wanted to bring the girl to Delhi and keep her at a Nari Niketan. The Minister will also recommend the trial of the case in a fast-track court. “There is absolute goonda raj in Uttar Pradesh,” she said.

For this, the Ministry will approach either the National Commission for Women (NCW) or the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), depending on the victim's exact age, to pursue the matter and seek her custody.

“The victim and her family can be pressurised to withdraw the case,” Ms. Tirath said, adding that she had no faith in the Uttar Pradesh government. Justice needs to be delivered to the girl, the Minister said.

Being a Dalit herself, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati should have taken cognisance of the case. Instead, she took action against the MLA after many days, and that too after public outrage, Ms. Tirath said, adding she did not wish to politicise the issue. “But mere arrest is not enough. He has to be punished also.”

Ms. Tirath has also forwarded the NCW report into the incident, which has recommended an enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

On charges of theft on the victim, Ms. Tirath said the money recovered from her could have been placed on her by the policemen. “We have given the police a total free hand, and there is no accountability. We need to make them accountable for their actions and deeds.”