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THE CITIZEN EDITORIAL | 25 MAY, 2017

Adityanath Shatters Law and Order in Uttar Pradesh

THE CITIZEN EDITORIAL


Since Adityanath has become the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the law and order situation has deteriorated at alarming speed in the state. UP has been afflicted by a spate of murder, rapes and robberies since the saffron clad priest of Gorakhnath temple took over with increasing incidents of communal and caste violence that has resulted in lynchings, and large scale clashes as in Saharanpur where the situation t is still far from normal,

The horrific rape and murder of a family travelling from Greater Noida to Bulandshahr today is a case in point, with the police claiming that this was perpetrated by a gang of robbers although as many of the locals have said, it could also have an overt communal motive. The family, including two women, felt something metalic against their tyres and stopped the car to find that two of the tyres were punctured. Within minutes they were surrounded by a gang of six men, who raped the four women, and shot dead one of the male relatives when he tried to come to their rescue. The police arrived eventually but has not been able to trace the men. Significantly, it is being projected as a robbery and not a communal attack. The family is completely devastated, and traumatised from all accounts with the gang ---as in many of the recent cases reported from UP---having melted into the fields.

Law and order in Uttar Pradesh has always been non-existent with the Samajwadi party being beaten by the BJP in particular for creating insecurity at all levels. It has worsened dramatically under Adityanath’s rule who started by giving new impetus to so called cow vigilantes, who have been left free to scour the countryside looking for Muslims with cattle. There have been any number of attacks---many if villagers in western UP are to be believed unreported with Adityanath adding the slaughter house issue to this. As always the small meat traders and butchers bore the brunt of this, being abused, attacked and threatened during the so called drive. The fear has spread through the state with the attack on the Noida highway today further fuelling the deep insecurity that has taken grip of the minorities in the state who are now fearful of even travelling by road.

Adityanath used the police to form Romeo squads to ostensibly check eve teasing, but which became a source of intimidating young people through the state. Any number of videos were posted on the social media of these squads stopping and interrogating young boys and girls in parks, cinema theatres, market places and cafes. Instead of resolving the issue, this added to the deteriorating law and order in the state with the police acting as uniformed muscle men, striking terror amidst young students. Here too a communal colour was given by the Romeo squads of Adityanath’s Hindu Yuva Vahini as was evident in the attack on a private residence of a Muslim boy who was entertaining his girl friend from another community. The goons entered his home and beat him up in one of the reported incidents from the state. And in the lynching of an elderly Muslim man just because someone from his family had eloped with a Hindu girl.

Saharanpur which is still simmering is another violent example of Adityanaths rule where Thakurs have clashed with Dalits, with the police remaining ineffective. In fact the police force seems to be completely demoralised in the state, following instructions for fear of transfers and suspensions. Mobs have attacked police offices, including the residence of a Superintendent of Police for doing little more than his duty of protecting all citizens, regardless of caste or religion. There has not been a word of condemnation from Adityanath with the SP who was targeted while his wife and children hid in the cowshed for fear of their lives, being transferred instead.

A sense of impunity has emboldened the lumpens and goons, who are on the prowl. Muslims and Dalits are the clear targets as was evident in Saharanpur where the administration backed the Thakurs against the Dalits with the violence continuing till date. Adityanath is empowering the gun, and those who are willing to use it against the most marginalised sections in the state.

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