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Friday, December 8, 2023

Women’s Safety In Muzaffarnagar, U.P. Has Been Sacrificed In The Name Of Secularism

Crimes against women in Western U.P., especially districts like Muzaffarnagar, continue unabated.  The perpetrators have been so emboldened by the inaction of CM Akhilesh Yadav’s administration that they have no fear in even circulating rape videos on WhatsApp and other social media.

Grieving Family in UP
Grieving family of rape victim in U.P.

7 such rapes have come to light in just the last 2 weeks.

  • 13 January – A 40-year-old ASHA worker (community health worker) committed suicide in Chapra village, Muzaffarnagar district after being raped by 20-year-old Shahid who circulated a video of the rape on WhatsApp. When the ASHA worker’s children and husband got to know about the video, the victim went into a state of shock and committed suicide by consuming poison.
  • 17 January – A 32-year-old married Hindu woman was gangraped by Irshad and Nazer, who filmed the entire incident and circulated the clip on social media in Kailawda village under Khatoli police station, Muzaffarnagar district.
  • 23 January – A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped by Rakib and Sakib, at gun-point at her house at Kutesra village in Muzaffarnagar district, when the family members were not present. They threatened to kill the girl if she revealed the incident to anyone,
  • 29 January – A 22-year-old girl was abducted and gangraped by Saddam, Rizwan and Shahrukh who also made a video of the act at Miranpur town in Muzaffarnagar district. The crime took place when she went out of her house to attend nature’s call.
  • 30 January – A 20-year-old girl was gangraped by three persons of her village, Murasleen, Shahdaab and Musarif, at her home in Mawana, Meerut.
  • 30 January – Similar to Nirbhaya case, a 12-year-old dalit Hindu girl was raped and murdered in Bareilly. Wooden sticks found in her private parts. Accused Murari (20) has been arrested.
  • 30 January – A 14-year-old girl, who was rehabilitated along with her family after the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, was gang-raped by Zulfam, son of former Gram Pradhan Zaheer, and two unidentified youths at Ambeta village, Muzaffarnagar.

Here is a short video report of the tragic rape & suicide of the 40-year ASHA worker:

As per a Quint report, this is what a fellow ASHA worker close to the victim had to say,

“The accused, Shahid, first encountered the victim three-months ago when Shahid’s sister-in-law was giving birth and the victim visited his house to oversee the delivery. He had been harassing her since then.”

Police have arrested the accused and he has admitted to raping the victim as well as circulating the video clip. Open and shut case, one would think. But wait. Here is how some media houses are reporting the crime.

Media Spin
Media spin questioning rape of 40-year ASHA worker

Notice the quotes around the words ‘rape video’ and ‘rape’. These quotes imply that the newspaper is skeptical whether the crimes were actually rapes or not, and hint that the ASHA worker might have had consensual sex with the 20 year old Shahid. This is a classic example of victim blaming. And true to their colors, media has also portrayed the intervention of BJP legislators on behalf of the victims as an act of ‘polarization’ with an eye on upcoming elections. With the constant election cycle in Bharat throwing up some election (at local, state or national level) or the other every few months, the media has built a convenient strawman to project every crime against women or communal clash as ‘politically motivated’, unless of course the incident occurs in a state ruled by ‘fascist forces’ in which case the incident is projected as a sign of worsening law and order. But the worst part is, many of us living in the comfort of our urban gated societies fall for this narrative which the media sets, as it aligns with the secular platitudes we have been fed since birth.

Times Group Dismissing Rape Crimes As Poll Gimmick

This belittling of a serious crime like rape happens because presenting the true facts would hurt the twisted secular ideology which all mainstream media houses in this country hold dear. This series of rapes don’t mean anything, but one crime in Dadri was indicative of the ‘growing intolerance’ of the majority. Moreover, if brutal rapes are occurring every other day in a constituency, what are politicians expected to raise instead – non-issues like perceived ‘Intolerance‘ or ‘Shani Shingnapur‘? At least one of the victims of the recent series of rapes in Muzaffarnagar is a Dalit Hindu girl who was brutally murdered as well – shouldn’t her tragedy take precedence over the suicide of Rohith Vemula, if only Dalit Hindu victims are considered newsworthy?

What agenda does media have to impute a ‘communal’ motive to every act of one political party, while brushing gross flagrations by their ‘secular champions’ under the carpet? Is it now a crime for elected representatives of the people such as MPs and MLAs to lend a helping hand at a time of grief? This is what the intervention of BJP MP Sanjeev Balyan in the ASHA worker’s case resulted in, as per the same Quint report –

“A protest was staged by hundred of ASHA workers from adjoining districts, refusing to cremate the woman’s body until the family was provided with adequate compensation. The body was finally cremated after Muzaffarnagar’s MP and Union Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Balyan visited the family in Chhapra.”

In Sanjeev Balyan’s own words –

“The district administration has given a meagre compensation of Rs 30,000 to the family. The woman ran the house as her husband is bedridden. They have three children. I have asked villagers to help the family and I, too, will personally help them.”

Muzaffarnagar is not new to horrible sexual crimes against Hindu women, including minor girls. This storify compilation shows the series of crimes committed in an eight month period from Dec 2012 to Aug 2013, which ultimately led to the unfortunate Muzaffarnagar riots.

If media is really serious about this break-down of law & order and rupturing of the social fabric in U.P., they should hold the Akhilesh Yadav Government accountable, especially when such damning evidence exists (watch video starting at 9 min 25 seconds) to show that U.P. police is afraid of acting against Muslim goons who have the backing of the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP).

It doesn’t help the poor victims of sexual crimes in U.P. that the SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav justifies rape as a “Boys will be boys” mistake, or questions the very feasibility of gang-rape. But no, these are the champions which media and academics project as the enlightened, ‘secular’ leaders who are required to fight the ‘fascist communal’ forces.

The people of U.P. have no hope from Akhilesh Yadav’s Government, so it is incumbent upon the Central Government to take some tough action right away –

  • Appoint an SIT (Special Investigation Team) to investigate how the Akhilesh Yadav Government has enabled criminals to target women at will.
  • Publicly voice their concern over the perilous law and order situation in U.P. and demand regular reports from the U.P. CM.
  • Long pending police reforms should also be on top of the agenda for the Union Home Ministry to ensure police is able to deal with criminals free of political interference.

Else, the hapless women of U.P. will keep suffering the fruits of secularism that is practiced in Bharat.

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