The spate of horrific crimes in Uttar Pradesh amid Covid-19 pandemic has come as a double blow for people trying to pick up pieces in the mission begin again after prolonged corona-induced lockdown, which has badly hit the life and livelihood of scores of people.
Over the past fortnight, dozens of rapes, gangrapes and murders have been reported in UP, alarming the citizens, especially the girls and young women.
Taking suo motu cognizance of such incidents, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday served two notices to the Uttar Pradesh government — one of horrific gangrape and murder of a minor in Lakhmipur Kheri and another on a Kanpur incident in which a cop allegedly asked a girl to dance first if she wanted to register a complaint of molestation.
The NHRC has forwarded a copy of the news item to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, the Nodal Ministry for the Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan, as the Lakhimpur Kheri incident happened when the girl had allegedly gone to relieve herself in a nearby field.
In the first case of Dalit girl’s gangrape and murder, the NHRC notice states, “Reportedly the victim was tortured before strangled to death. It is mentioned in the news report there is a toilet in the victim’s house but it’s not functional. The Commission has issued notices to the Chief Secy and DGP, Govt of UP, calling for detailed reports in the matter within six weeks including disbursement of the statutory relief as per rules framed under provisions of the SC/ST (POA) Act to the family of the victim, action taken against the guilty and the status of the FIRs in the matter.”
"The UP chief secy is expected to sensitise the dist authorities to create awareness that toilets should not be constructed for mere fulfillment of govt records. They must actually be made functional," it said.
The NHRC has also taken suo motu cognizance of a media report an inspector of Govind Nagar police station, Kanpur asked a 16-year-old girl to dance before filing an FIR against a molester.
Meanwhile, more cases of horrific crimes have been reported across UP since Sunday. Another girl was gangraped and murdered in Yogi’s home-turf Gorakhpur.
While motormouth ministers in the state leave no opportunity to speak over frivolous issues, none has spoken a word against rise in crimes or fast spreading infection. Over 5,000 cases are reported every day in the state.
Abhishek Yadav, a young teacher who recently tested positive along with wife, rues, “I informed the corona helpline after testing positive. The health dept called me up after 5 days instead of 48 hours as per rules. All they did is to prescribe us some medicines over the phone.”
Meanwhile, the body of a girl, 16, suspected to have been raped, was recovered from a pond in Azamgarh. The teenager, whose family had returned from Mumbai during the lockdown, had been missing since Saturday.