January 10, 2021

Women Condemn Badaun Rape and Murder, Demand Immediate Arrest of Main Culprit

SIX women organisations; AIDWA, NFIW, AIPWA, PMS, AIMSS and AIAMS in a press note released on January 7, condemned the January 3 incident of gang-rape, torture and murder of an anganwadi worker by a mahant (priest)and his henchmen in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh. The woman sometimes used to visit the temple presided over by the main culprit and when she did not return, her family started looking for her. The mangled body of the woman was brought back in a car and left in front of her home.

The women organisations stated that in a repeat of the callousness evidenced in the Hathras case, the police ignored the pleas of the family to lodge an FIR. They turned up only the next morning and after the post mortem revealed severe injuries including injuries in the private parts of the victim's body. The main culprit has absconded although his two associates have been arrested. The SSP, Badaun has stated that the police station in-charge has been temporarily relieved of his duties, but keeping earlier such cases in mind, it is suspected that there will be efforts to side-line the rape and murder and to subvert justice to cover-up the atrocious records of the Yogi government.

It is shameful that such horrendous crimes against women are being committed at a time when the UP government is preventing women by police force from holding peaceful demonstrations with their just demands for food and work. It is doubly shameful that in a regime that boasts of religiosity, temples are becoming sites of crimes and mahants are becoming perpetrators. The women organisations demanded immediate arrest of the main culprit, protection for the family and proper police and administrative action to ensure speedy justice. The women organisations also called upon its activists in the states to campaign strongly on the issue to expose the dangers that women face under the BJP regime.