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Badaun sisters' rape: Police fire water cannons at BJP protesters

Last updated on: June 02, 2014 18:42 IST

Image: BJP supporters are stopped by the police, as they march towards UP CM Akhilesh Yadav's office.
Photographs: Pawan Kumar/Reuters Sharat Pradhan

Protesting the lack of law and order and the rapes in the state, BJP workers stormed the streets of Lucknow, demanding the ouster of the Akhilesh Yadav government. Sharat Pradhan reports.

Following the heinous rape and murder of two Dalit teenagers in Badaun district of Uttar Pradesh, workers from the Bharatiya Janata Party took to the streets to protest against the Akhilesh Yadav-led government and the lack of law and order in the state. However, protests soon took an ugly turn when the police used water cannons to disperse the agitated protesters. 

Badaun sisters' rape: Police fire water cannons at BJP protesters

Image: The police used water cannons to disperse the angry crowd.
Photographs: @BJPLucknowBJP/Twitter Sharat Pradhan

The protesters, who were chanting slogans, were demanding the ouster of the Samajwadi Party government and clamping down of President’s Rule in the state. The women activists intended to march down to the chief minister’s office and stage a demonstration, but the Lucknow police pushed and shoved the sari-clad protesters and eventually used water cannons to stop the mob.

However, far from deterring the protesters, it only spurred them on and tempers remained high. It was only much later that the mob dispersed from the spot. 

Badaun sisters' rape: Police fire water cannons at BJP protesters

Image: BJP workers burn an effigy of CM Akhilesh Yadav.
Photographs: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters Sharat Pradhan

Talking to the media later, state BJP president Laxmi Kant Bajpai said, “This protest by our women’s wing was against the unabated lawlessness and the increasing number of rapes in the state. This government has failed when it comes to law and order and it is high time that the governor dismisses the government and impose President’s rule here.”

When contacted, Lucknow Deputy Inspector General of police Navneet Sikera said, “I fail to understand what provoked this protest. The CM had already agreed to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation. Additionally, the state police has already arrested five of the accused and two cops have also been dismissed from service.”

Badaun sisters' rape: Police fire water cannons at BJP protesters

Photographs: ANI's Twitter page Sharat Pradhan

Earlier in the day, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan met the family members and assured them that he would take up their demands with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and raise them in the Union Cabinet. Slamming the Akhilesh Yadav government, he questioned why the CM had failed to turn up at the village and visit the victims’ families.

Paswan was accompanied by his son Chirag Paswan. Chirag said that while it is understandable to some extent if the state government is not able to provide electricity and water supply, the minimum that it can do is to provide security. “If you are not being able to provide right to life, then what kind of government is this. Security to life is the basic right of every citizen and every government has to provide that,” he said.

Chirag also took a dig at SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav wondering whether his previous controversial statement of ‘Ladke, ladke hain. Galti ho jati hai (Boys are boys. Mistakes happen sometimes)’ had encouraged the accused.


Badaun sisters' rape: Police fire water cannons at BJP protesters

Image: Villagers gather at the spot where the girls were murdered and left hanging.
Photographs: Reuters Sharat Pradhan

The Home Ministry on Monday shot off a letter to the Uttar Pradesh government asking it to explain why the stringent clauses of Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act were not slapped on those accused of raping and murdering of two cousins in Badaun.

“The law is there. It is to protect the SCs and STs from atrocities. It was a clear case of atrocity on a weaker section of the society. We do not know why the state government has not slapped it (clauses) against the accused,” said Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, adding, “It was a heinous crime and the guilty must be given exemplary punishment.”

Five accused -- three brothers Pappu Yadav, Awadhesh Yadav and Urvesh Yadav and constables Chhatrapal Yadav and Sarvesh Yadav -- have been arrested in the case that has sparked nation-wide outrage.

Outrage spread in the state after two teenaged cousins, aged 15 and 14, were gang-raped and killed on the night of May 27. Their bodies were found hanging from a tree the next day. According to the girls’ family, the police had allegedly refused to register a first information report for hours. 

With inputs from PTI