Unnao Rape Case: Spawning a Different Kind of LawlessnessIs the government in Uttar Pradesh spawning a different kind of lawlessness in the name of controlling the usual kind? When the police are given powers to act as judge, jury and executioner, the landscape becomes fertile for eliminating all those history sheeters who belong to other parties. That in turn emboldens musclemen affiliated to the ruling dispensation. It ultimately amounts to replacing one set of hoodlums with another, maybe more notorious, and does not benefit the society.
By Sunil Garodia
By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2018-04-12 12:44:16
The go-slow on the Unnao gang-rape charge against the sitting BJP MLA, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, and his cohorts, including his brother, must be seen in this light. Even otherwise, ruling party lawmakers and functionaries often treat themselves to be above the law. But when the administration starts eliminating toughs from the other side, their aspirations start soaring. In UP, musclemen affiliated to the BJP and its allies have started evicting others from all nefarious activities and have gained control in most places.
But the Unnao gang-rape case proves that a compromised police force is not fit for policing. The way the police initially refused to file the case of rape (their feeble defense was that there were discrepancies in the statements of the girl) and the way the father of the alleged rape victim was beaten up by the MLAs musclemen, maybe even in police custody brutally enough for him to die with ruptured intestines and septicemia a few days later, shows that the police will not act against ruling party lawmakers and functionaries unless it is absolutely necessary or if orders come from the top.
Kuldeep Sengar is a strongman in his area. The Makhi village, from where the girl comes from, swears by him. His whole family in politics, with his wife is district panchayat president and his sister-in-law is village pradhan. His brother is a roving hoodlum. Is there any chance of justice for the girl is such a scenario? There is also a chance that Sengar is being framed, as alleged by his wife who demanded a nacro test for both Sengar and the girl? But if that was the case, why was the girls father beaten so grievously? The party needs to suspend Sengar and remove him and his relatives from the area till he is found not guilty. Otherwise nothing might come out of the probe with witnesses scared of him not coming forward to help the cause of justice.
Fortunately, the case has attracted enough attention for the Supreme Court to hear a plea for CBI investigation and for the HHRC to intervene. The heat has forced UP CM Yogi Adityanath to constitute a SIT to probe the case and the MLA has finally been charged with rape. But this is just the first step. For example, the MLA has not been arrested yet. This leaves him free to influence witnesses and do everything to scuttle the probe. Unless an impartial probe is conducted, the MLA will walk free. The UP government needs to ensure justice for the girl and her dead father.