Wave of crime against women continues in India's biggest state

LUCKNOW India Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:51pm EDT

Supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shout slogans as police use a water cannon to stop them from moving towards the office of Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, during a protest against recent rape and hanging of two girls, in Lucknow June 2, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shout slogans as police use a water cannon to stop them from moving towards the office of Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, during a protest against recent rape and hanging of two girls, in Lucknow June 2, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Pawan Kumar

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LUCKNOW India (Reuters) - A woman was hanged from a tree in India's state of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday and another was allegedly raped in a police station, police said, the latest incidents in a wave of crimes against women reported in the country's most populous region over the past two weeks.

Police suspect the hanged woman was raped before being murdered, bringing to five the number of rapes reported in the past 36 hours in the state, including two women who were then killed.

"The sub-inspector accused of committing the rape of the woman has been put under arrest while we have launched a manhunt for the three constables accused of being party to the crime," a spokesman at state police headquarters said.

The latest reports come after two girls, aged 12 and 14, were gang-raped and hanged from a tree on May 27, the day after Narendra Modi was sworn in as prime minister.

The two cousins, from a low-caste community, went missing from their home in Uttar Pradesh when they went to an outdoor toilet. The next morning, villagers found their bodies hanging from a mango tree in a nearby orchard.

Workers from Modi's party clashed with police when they tried to march on the office of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to protest against the violence, and opposition parties have demanded Yadav's dismissal.

Yadav has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the country's top crime-fighting agency, to investigate the case. The CBI on Thursday said it registered a case against three people and two police officials.

Uttar Pradesh is one of the world's poorest regions and has largely missed out on the economic boom that swept much of India over the past decade. Its population of 208 million is larger than that of Russia, and it has endured a string of revolving door governments that have pandered to narrow caste interests.

Yadav met businessmen in New Delhi on Thursday to drum up investment and said reports of lawlessness were exaggerated.

"In Uttar Pradesh, not only is the atmosphere good but law and order, compared with many other states, is also better," Yadav told reporters.

His government later issued a press release that some of India's most prominent companies, including Reliance Industries Ltd and ITC Ltd, had pledged $9.2 billion in investment in the state at the meeting.

Yadav ran his 2012 election campaign as a modernizer, advocating the use of technology to transform the state. However, his term in office has been marred by scandals over riots, gangsterism, and now, sex crimes.

His father, a former chief minister widely seen as the power behind the throne in the state, drew widespread condemnation earlier this year when he said rape laws should be softened and that "boys will be boys" - sometimes committing rape by mistake.

As in many parts of the world, conservative Indian leaders across the political spectrum frequently blame rape on the victims' dress and social behaviour.

Modi broke his silence on the issue in a speech to parliament on Wednesday, saying India needed to protect and respect women and that the government needed to act.

He also asked politicians to refrain from making comments about why rape happened. A senior member of Modi's own party last week said rape was a social issue, and "sometimes right, sometimes wrong."

(Writing by Frank Jack Daniel and Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Douglas Busvine, Jeremy Laurence and Sonya Hepinstall)

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Comments (4)
projob66 wrote:
ok, so the raping is some sort of medieval social behavior, but what is the killing about ?? Why murder ??

Jun 12, 2014 1:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Abenaki wrote:
It sounds like LOVE needs to be a major part in India? This comment is totally wrong: “blame rape on the victims’ dress and social behavior”. This statement: “”boys will be boys” – sometimes committing rape by mistake” this is why I mention LOVE. This statement: “protect and respect women” I agree but the government is not going to help – it HAS to be the parents/family. Lets look at the big picture: women are being raped why? Because men don’t see a chance to have a relationship? Parents need to make this happen MONEY is not everything, but one has to have the basic needs meant. India’s new law includes the death penalty, so now the attackers are killing the victims so they cannot identify who raped them. So now women are in danger of never having a family and being killed. Do you not see the problem?

Jun 12, 2014 2:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
fairbro_plus wrote:
Are Moslems committing these crimes against women?

Is the media hiding the Moslem identity of these rapists and murderers?

Jun 12, 2014 2:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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