New Delhi: Amid all-round attack on Akhilesh Yadav government over rape incidents, SP leaders today gave weird arguments, saying sometimes when relationship between girls and boys come out in open, it is "termed as rape".
Mulayam Singh Yadav
"In many places, when the relationship between girls and boys come out in open, it is termed as rape. In many places, girls and boys are ready (to marry) but honour killings take place. The most saddening and serious thing is that such incidents are not stopping. These incidents happen in other places also but are not highlighted," senior SP leader Ramgopal Yadav said.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said his party's government in the state was "not insensitive" and was taking action against the culprits.
"What to do...we are sensitive. We are not insensitive... Strict action is being taken against culprits. You do your work and let us do our work," he said, when asked to comment on rising cases of rape in the state where his son is the chief minister.
Mulayam had last month raked up a huge controversy on rape cases when he had publicly said, "Ladke, ladke hain, galti ho jati hai (Boys are boys, they make such mistakes). That doesn't mean that you award them capital punishment." Attacking media for "deliberately" focusing on such incidents only in Uttar Pradesh, Ramgopal Yadav said similar cases happened in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra but they were not highlighted.
He said strict punishment would be given to those involved in such wrongdoings but the society as whole has to work together to put an end to it and till that time, "it cannot be stopped fully and it is impossible." He said these days one also gets to hear incidents where fathers have raped their daughters..."this is (due to) mental disturbance and nothing else." Yadav said similar incidents have happened in Jhalawar in Rajasthan where a lady was raped and later burnt by her assailants. Madhya Pradesh and Mumbai have also witnessed such incidents.
"No leader visited those places but since, media said the two girls (in Badaun) were Dalits, everybody went there and even demanded registration of a case under the SC/ST Act when the girls belonged to backward classes," he said.
After the Badaun rape case, Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had said that Uttar Pradesh was "insensitive" and it should go.
"Insensitive, they are. I say this government should go. But, even if a new government comes, till the time we don't provide ample protection to women, what will it do?" she had said.
The SP government has been in the firing line of the opposition parties which have been citing the incident as symptomatic of "dismal" law and order situation in the state.
The state government has made big changes in the bureaucratic setup and appointed a new Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary (Home).
The two teenage girls, aged 14 and 15 years, were allegedly gangraped and murdered with their bodies found hanging from a mango tree in a village in Ushait area in Badaun, 300 km from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.
The girls went missing on May 27 and their bodies were found the next day.
Five accused -- three brothers Pappu Yadav, Awadhesh Yadav and Urvesh Yadav and constables Chhatrapal Yadav and Sarvesh Yadav -- have been arrested in the case that has sparked nation-wide outrage.