Half a dozen incidents of abduction and gang rape have been reported in the three districts of Uttar Pradesh within a span of a month
While woman empowerment is the buzz word nowadays everywhere, the dignity of women is being trampled brutally by communal elements in the western Uttar Pradesh. There have been half a dozen incidents of abduction and gang rape in the districts of Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat and Meerut during a month's period. In one such heinous occurrence, the victim committed suicide after the video of her rape was circulated on WhatsApp. In another, the marriage of the sufferer was broken when her video was sent to her fiance by the culprits. The role of the UP police is almost everywhere suspect.
On January 13, an ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) worker committed suicide in Chhapar, district Muzaffarnagar after having been gang-raped by one Shahid and his accomplices and the video filmed put on WhatsApp. The lady was 40 years old and a mother of three. Her husband is physically handicapped and remains bed-ridden. She was the only bread-earner in her family. She had been called by Shahid to his house to assist in a delivery. The call turned out to be a hoax. Shahid, along with his friends, abducted her, took her to a farm and she was gang-raped. A video was simultaneously made to be circulated later on, which led to the hapless victim consuming sulphas tablets. Shahid has been arrested and has reportedly admitted the crime although his accomplices are still at large. The district administration paid a meagre 30,000 Rupees to the bereaved family. The cruel joke played in the name of compensation led people and ASHA workers to launch a stir. Sanjeev Baliyan, the Union minister of state for agriculture, also joined the people and himself declared that he would get two daughters of the victim educated.
In the second incident, a 22-year old girl hailing from Meeranpur town of the same district has lodged an FIR against three culprits named Saddam, Rijwan and Shahrukh for gang-raping her and filming its video. The girl was reportedly abducted by the three from outside her house and taken to a secluded place where she was subjected to threats and torture. Gang rape followed. The gang later sent clippings to her fiance to whom the girl had been betrothed resulting in breaking of the marriage. Medical investigation has confirmed rape. The culprits and those who have shared the video are yet to be apprehended.
Another incident has been reported from Mawana, a town in Meerut district. A young woman was gang-raped by three, named in her complaint as Shadab, Musarif and Mursalin. According to the Mawana Police Station officer, the three entered the victim's house on 16 January when she was alone. They beat her up into submission and subjected her to the heinous crime. The criminals are absconding.
In yet another occurrence, a 14-year old girl was subjected to gang rape at Ambeta village of district Bagpat. Her family had been uprooted in the 2013 Muzaffarnagar communal riots and was settled thereafter at Ambeta with guarantee of full security by the state government. The FIR lodged by the victim's brother names Julfam, son of former village pradhan (chief) Jaheer, and two others. The girl while returning from a farm was kidnapped by the three who gang-raped her later and left her unconscious.
The abduction of a minor girl hailing from Kashi area of Meerut from a place in Modi Nagar (district Ghaziabad) by three named miscreants Mushkoor, Musavvar and Hazi Liak Ali on January 23 and the failure of the police to recover her so far has placed the city in an explosive situation. All the three also belong to Kashi but they kidnapped the girl while she had gone to some place near Modi Nagar. The BJP MP from Meerut Rajendra Agrawal, Laxmikant Vajpayee, the state president of the party, Mayor of Meerut Corporation and three BJP MLAs from the district- all have been exerting pressure on police and administration to make haste in recovering the girl. The matter has been brought to the knowledge even of Raj Nath Singh, the Union Home Minister. Rahul Gandhi, the Congress Vice President, who always remained in the forefront of a clamour of women empowerment, has been conspicuous by his absence in this region even after so many abductions and gang rapes. He has failed to issue even a statement condemning these happenings.