Azam Khan hints Bulandshahr gang-rapes were a political conspiracy, sparks row

The villagers alleged that "had the police taken action, another gang-rape would probably not have been repeated."

August 03, 2016 02:32 am | Updated December 03, 2021 12:46 pm IST - Meerut:

Samajwadi Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Minister Azam Khan on Tuesday suggested that the Bulandshahr gang-rapes could be a political conspiracy ahead of the Assembly elections to defame the government. Mr Khan's allegation provoked a strong reaction with the BJP terming his statement as “shameful”. The State BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, demanding a CBI probe into the incident said, “It is a matter of shame that he is doing politics on gang-rape now.” The victim’s uncle said the SP leader has “gone mad”.

A gang of dacoits waylaid a family on NH-91 in Bulandshahr district on Friday night, tied and beat up the male members and gang raped the woman and her minor daughter after dragging them out of their car. The police on Monday arrested three men – Naresh (25), Bablu (22) and Rais (28) — and detained a dozen others after a massive hunt for the culprits.

“All I am saying is that the State government needs to investigate if there was any political conspiracy to defame the government through the incident ahead of the elections,” Mr. Khan said in Rampur on Monday evening.

Urging the U.P. government to probe the political conspiracy angle, Mr Khan, the Urban Development Minister, said political parties could “stoop” to any level to get in power.

“When Congress could orchestrate several thousands of communal riots; when Gujarat (riots of 2002) can happen for votes and when people can raise issues like Kairana, then why not this? Had Bapu been alive this would not have happened but these people and their ideology got him killed anyway.”

Arrested men identified

The three men arrested in the case were identified by the victims, police said on Tuesday, even as opposition parties accused ruling SP of “protecting” criminals ahead of Assembly polls. Director General of UP Police Javeed Ahmed said, “The names of other accused are almost clear and efforts are on to arrest them.”

Meanwhile, the victims’ family has threatened to commit suicide if the accused were not punished within three months.

“We were looted, beaten up and we all know what they did to my daughter...I want my wife and daughter to punish them. If they are not punished within three months, then all three of us will commit suicide,” said the minor victim’s father, a cab driver. The Shahjahanpur district administration has extended security to the family as demanded by them. District magistrate Pushpa Singh, who met the family members on Tuesday in the Kalan area, said directives have been issued to the police to provide security to the family.

Repeat assault?

Just 12 days before Friday’s assault, another rape had taken place at the same location on NH-91, residents of Dostpur village alleged on Tuesday.

The villagers had found a water bottle and a mobile phone which was given to the police. But no action or investigation done in the matter, they said.

The villagers alleged that “had the police taken action, another gang-rape would probably not have been repeated.”

Nirmal Singh, of Dostpur said: “A gang-rape had happened near the same spot 12 days before this recent gang-rape. We had found a mobile phone, a water bottle, torn women's clothes and a bag from the spot. We had informed the police about it then itself.”

The new SSP of Bulandshahr Anees Ahmad Ansari told The Hindu he would visit the crime scene and investigate the matter.

(With inputs from PTI)

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