Uttar Pradesh’s Mahoba police have been very active online on Friday. It has been busy participating in the Mission Shakti, campaign that was flagged off a few days ago by Chief Minister Adityanath. He had marked the first day of Navratri the nine-day Hindu festival celebrating the nine forms of the mother goddess Shakti or Durga, with launching ‘Mission Shakti’ that aims at “guaranteeing security & respect for every woman in the state.” The CM had warned that there will be “zero tolerance in cases of crime against women, and those guilty will be dealt with an iron hand”.
Police divisions across the state have been busy since then amplifying the CM’s scheme and many functions are being held and facilities such as help desks for women are launched with much fanfare and many photographs are shared online by the police station. The latest is the launch women help desks at all 1535 police stations. Photos have been shared with police precision.
आज मां0 मुख्यमंत्री श्री @myogiadityanath
जी द्वारा #मिशनशक्ति अभियान के अंतर्गत @UPGovt के समस्त 1535 थानों पर महिला हेल्प डेस्क का शुभारंभ किये जाने के क्रम में @bandapolice के सभी थानों मे #महिला_हेल्पडेस्क सम्बन्धी अभिनव कार्यक्रम का शुभारम्भ किया गया। #MissionShakt pic.twitter.com/BiI535ZWwA
— IG Range Chitrakoot (@igchitrakoot) October 23, 2020
How may I help you ?
That’s our newly established computerised, 24/7 functional reception centres in all 1535 police stations of #UPPolice.
As part of #MissionShakti, Hon’ble CM UP Sri @myogiadityanath inaugurates the ‘female help desk’ facility at 10.00 am today. #MahobaPolice pic.twitter.com/OinzXYFdxp
— Mahoba Police (@mahobapolice) October 23, 2020
Unfortunately, crimes against women continue in the state even during this time. According to news reports another teenager has alleged she was gangraped, in the Mahoba district. The incident took place on Wednesday night when the 19-year-old was returning home after attending an aarti of Goddess Durga, as a part of the nine-day festival. She alleged that she was abducted and raped by the three accused, news reports stated that the police confirmed this.
According to news reports the 19-year-old woman was allegedly gang-raped by three men after attending a Navratri event in Panwadi area of Uttar Pradesh’s Mahoba. Superintendent of Police Arun Kumar Shrivastava told the media: “The case of rape has come to the fore in Panwadi area. The accused took her to a secluded place behind her house and raped her. The Police has acted promptly and all the three accused have been arrested.” The teen was also sent for a medical examination and investigations continue.
However, what is worse is the normalisation of such crimes in the area. This news too has failed to create public outrage. While launching this latest ‘Mission Shakti’ project for women, CM Adityanath said, ”there will be a separate room now for women complainants in 1,535 police stations across the state, where a female Police constable will attend them & there will be urgent action on their complaint. Culprits of crimes against women will be punished swiftly.”
While Police are probing this case too, the ‘zero tolerance’ policy of crime against women does not seem to have put the fear of the law in the criminals’ minds at the moment. The October 2020 tally of crimes against women in UP, has just added another statistic:
October 16, Jaunpur, 15-year-old girl, allegedly raped men in a paddy field
The incident was reported from the Sikarara area of eastern Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) Jaunpur district in the evening, stated news reports. According to the police, the accused were on the run. The girl was allegedly attacked when she was returning home after buying medicines from a local market. “Her family members have informed that the youths caught her while she was returning home from a medical store, which is located on the outskirts of the village,” a police officer was quoted by news reports. The teenager confided in her parents, who filed a complaint at the local police station. Angad Prasad Tiwari, station house officer (SHO) of the police station, told the media that a first information report (FIR) has been filed under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
October 14, Barabanki: Teenage Dalit girl’s body found in paddy field
The victim’s family suspect rape as they found the half-naked body of their teenage daughter on night of October 14, 2020, in a paddy field where she had gone to work. The Uttar Pradesh’s Barabanki police found her the tied-up and half-naked body of a teenage Dalit girl in the village paddy field. The area is only 40 km from the state capital Lucknow. Media reports quoted Superintendent of Police RS Gautam saying that an initial probe suggested that the girl was strangled by her own shirt. The family members alleged that her semi-naked condition suggested sexual assault too. Gautam said the girl was missing, after she left home to cut paddy crops. The family found her body in the field while searching for her on the same night. The incident occurred in Tipri village within Satrikh police station limits. Police and the administration did not share the post-mortem report but sought the opinion of doctors, who carried out the post-mortem examination, regarding the possibility of rape.
October 13, Gonda: Three Dalit sisters, minors, attacked in their sleep with acid
Three Dalit sisters, all of them minors, were attacked with acid while they were asleep inside their residence in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district. It was a tweet by the Gonda police that made the incident public. The oldest of the three, aged 17, had 35 per cent burn injuries, while the other two, aged 12 and 8, escaped with 25 per cent and 5 percent burn injuries, respectively. The family members told police that at around 2 A.M, all the three sisters came running downstairs, howling in pain. Their father initially thought the burn injuries were from a gas cylinder, but later realised it was an acid attack. The girls’ parents recently fixed the marriage of their eldest daughter, a high school passout. She received the maximum burn injuries out of the three girls. The family does not suspect anyone so far, SP Pandey said, adding that the attacker must be from the same locality as it’s a small town.
October 11, Jhansi: Teen alleges rape on college campus
A class 10 student alleged that she was raped by a college student, robbed and filmed by around a dozen more. The 17-year-old girl complained to the police that she was raped on Sunday, allegedly by a student of a Jhansi college. She alleged that the assault took place in the college campus even as preliminary exams 2020 were underway for the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Civil Services (PCS). According to a report in The Hindustan Times, the girl, a class 10 student, alleged in her police complaint that “around a dozen students of the college forcibly took her inside the campus”. She alleged that while one of them assaulted her, and many others filmed an objectionable video. The teenager added that the accused also thrashed the boy she had gone to meet, and threatened to to “make the video viral if she revealed the incident to anyone.” A news report stated that the college principal said the accused were second year students, and that the institute was cooperating with the police in establishing the identity of other students involved in the incident.
October 11, Chitrakoot: 15-yr-old Dalit ‘gangrape victim’ takes her own life
In a gruesome case of gendered assault, her family members have alleged after her death that she was raped by three men in a forest area on October 8, the UP police said. The Dalit teenager, who was allegedly raped by three men, ended her life by hanging herself in the Chitrakoot district of Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh, police officials stated. The Superintendent of Police (SP), Chitrakoot Ankit Mittal publicly stated that the 15-year-old girl hanged herself in her house in the Manikpur area on Tuesday. It was after the girl’s death, her family members alleged that she was raped by three men in a forest area on October 8, the officer said. On the basis of a complaint from the victim’s family members, a former village head’s son Kishan Upadhyay and two others were arrested under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, Mittal said.
These are just some incidents of crime against women which have been placed on record, there may be many more which may have not even been reported.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s ‘Crime in India 2019’ report, Uttar Pradesh had registered 59,853 cases of crimes against women, the highest in the country from January 1 to December 31, 2019. The NCRB report was made public September 29. Uttar Pradesh reported the second highest number of rapes: 3,065, after Rajasthan which reported 5,997 rapes. Uttar Pradesh reported 34 rape-murder cases out of 278 reported all India, it was the third highest.