Akhilesh Yadav

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For blaming the media for highlighting rape cases in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh has seen a spate of horrific sexual assaults and murders over the last week, beginning with the rape and public hanging of two cousin sisters in Badaun. Recently there was even a rape attempt on a judge . The state’s chief minister Akhilesh Yadav however says, “… incidents [in Uttar Pradesh] are publicised more. Such incidents do not happen in UP alone.”

He is somewhat right when it comes to bald facts, but still completely wrong in his implication. Generally, once a crime shakes a nation’s conscience—as has happened in these rapes and murders— the glare of the media falls on the state. It happened in Delhi after the Nirbahaya rape. But what this nonetheless underlines is that Uttar Pradesh has a serious law-and-order problem; not, as Yadav suggests, that this problem seems worse than it is because of incidents being “publicised more”.

It is because Yadav’s administration is inept that everyone believes that these are not isolated crimes. Ever since he took over as Chief Minister, there has been a progressive increase in violent crimes fuelled by lumpen elements in his own party. Rape might happen across the country; it is just that in Uttar Pradesh, tragedy is also compounded by apathy.