Uttar Pradesh: When the regime rots and the rotten rules

Hathras rape, UP, Protest
The slow and sickening response of police and administration is pushing India’s most-populous state into an abyss that’s darker than ever | Image - Eunice Dhivya

Every town in Uttar Pradesh invariably has a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at its centre. Tragically enough, on Gandhi Jayanti this year (on October 2), all these venues turned into protest sites with thousands of people gathering to protest the death of a 19-year-old two weeks after she was dragged from a field and allegedly gang-raped and tortured.

While there were allegations that the police initially did not take her case seriously, what has further inflamed the popular mood is the forceful burning of the body by the police against the family’s wishes.

Even as the outrage over the incident was peaking, another Dalit girl was raped and murdered in an equally barbaric manner in Balrampur and a minor Dalit girl was murdered in Badohi district of UP in quick succession.

The Hathras event quickly snowballed into a major political issue and the outrage has now become an all-India phenomenon. The call for resignation of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath resounded everywhere.

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