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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Girl abducted and murdered by late SP leader’s son Rajol Singh, body buried in septic tank: Unnao, UP

A 22-year-old girl, who had been missing for the last two months, has been found buried in a septic tank located at a vacant plot near a building belonging to late former SP leader Fateh Bahadur Singh in the Kabba Kheda area in Unnao district of UP.

The woman, who belonged to an SC community, had been missing for two months and her mother had lodged a missing complaint on December 8. The girl’s family had later accused Rajol Singh, son of Fateh Bahadur Singh, of abducting their daughter. The distraught mother told media that her girl could have been saved if police had conducted a thorough search of the ‘ashram’ compound where she believes her daughter was held before she was murdered.

On January 24, the mother jumped in front of Akhilesh Yadav’s car in Lucknow and tried to kill herself. With the news going viral, the police arrested Rajol Singh and interrogated him on PCR remand for nearly eight hours. Based on this interrogation and inputs by police informers, they learnt about the spot where the girl had been buried. Rajol Singh and his companion Suraj Singh, a resident of Nava village of Hardoi district, are said to have carried out the killing.

The accused first strangled the woman to death, wrapped her body in a blanket and buried it in the adjacent septic tank. Her autopsy report revealed that she was strangulated and her neck was broken. As per some reports, there was also proof of injury on her head.

“My daughter was kidnapped by Rajol Singh 50 days ago while she was in the Unnao market. I told them (Police) that she was trapped inside the Ashram. They did not pay attention and instead said that the girl was adult and would come back herself….I knew my daughter was inside. The Police stopped answering to my calls. And now three months later, they’ve pulled her dead body out”, the distraught mother Rita Devi told the media.

She added that that at one point Daroga (ASI) Prem Narayan Dixit had accompanied her to the Ashram to investigate the case. “We looked at the entire Ashram but he deliberately avoided one three-floor building and did not allow me to look there. I am sure my daughter was being held captive there. Other Inspectors, CO (Circle Officer) also kept deflecting, did not allow me to meet the SP, saying your daughter is an adult and must have gone away with someone. One inspector even said that I am trying to earn money through this, that my daughter is with me only but I am trying to extort Rs. 4 lakhs…if my child was with me, why would I roam around like this”, the heartbroken mother cried out.

Who are Rajol Singh and Fateh Bahadur Singh?

Fateh Bahadur Singh fought assembly elections on Lok Dal, Janata Dal, Samajwadi Janata Party, and Samajwadi Party tickets. SP made him chairman of the UP Cooperative Bank and he remained in that position for 23 years. He was considered a close confidante of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and was minister of state at one point. He died four years ago and is survived by two sons – Ashok Singh and Rajol Singh.

Rajol Singh and his accomplice Suraj Singh (Image Source: Aaj Tak)

Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati tweeted over the issue: “The recovery of the buried dead body of a Dalit girl in an SP leader’s field in Unnao district is very sad and a serious matter. The family had been suspecting the SP leader in the abduction and murder of the girl. The state government should immediately take strict action against the culprits and get justice for the victim’s family.”

Police Reform

People of UP are unanimous in their verdict that the law & order situation in UP has improved by leaps and bounds ever since Yogi Adityanath came to power. The encounters and arrest of dreaded criminals like Mukim Kala, razing of illegal structures built by criminal-politicians like ex-SP MP Atiq Ahmed, shutting down illegal slaughterhouse, anti-conversion law to combat grooming jihad – all these measures have brought a wave of relief to the state that had grown accustomed to goonda-raj and unchecked Islamist violence during SP rule.

But as this case and others show, our police needs deep reforms. The politicization of police in all states is a sad reality – the most egregious example today being the police forces in West Bengal and Kerala. But even with a hard taskmaster like Yogi Adityanath at the helm, some police officers just refuse to mend their old ways. Maybe they are betting on a change of guard in the ongoing assembly elections, or maybe they just earn more from illegal rackets run by ‘secular’ politicians to fear being terminated from service?

But its not just politicization of police that is the issue, as most analysts claim. The deeper problem is the colonial outlook of all our civil servants – IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS etc. They just look down upon ordinary native-language speakers as lesser beings, and think their first job is to exercise control over people not help them.

Unless you are able to demonstrate some influential connections/exhibit street power/grease some palms, the first instinct of many police stations is to ignore your complaint or take token action. Many senior IPS officers have also learnt to mouth banalities about secularism, liberalism etc. to try and shame citizens on selective issues and sweep the serious law & order issues under the carpet. For eg., everyone knows that there are Islamist-dominated no-go zones all across the country that even police fears to enter, but you will never hear some police research institute or high-level seminar talk about it.

When was the last time our courts convicted a senior police officer or any civil servant for corruption or dereliction of duty? The courts are as busy playing to the liberal galleries as any other institution. ‘Secular’ governments like Mamata’s fascist regime openly flout constitutional norms and abuse police power, but have the courts ever held them accountable?

We need indigenization at all levels of our Republic. Our bureaucracy, police and judiciary have to be decolonized – in their outlook, language, laws, departmental codes and training – so that they become more accessible and accountable to the people. Yes, these institutions need safeguards against manipulation by crooked ‘secular’ politicians (swift and heavy punishment to all such political crooks is an important step in this exercise), but at the same time they have to remain accountable to the people and not be allowed to become self-serving, elitist cliques like the higher judiciary has become through the Collegium System.

As for UP, the rot is deep. The state desperately needs a renewed mandate for Yogi to continue with the clean-up on law & order front that he has initiated. All officers who failed to perform their duty in this Unnao case should not just be dismissed, but prosecuted and punished.

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