The reluctance of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to ensure that BJP MLA Kuldip Singh Sengar be placed in confinement as a danger to society needed to end and it finally has. Each day which passed without the arrest and incarceration of Sengar was a commentary on the state of law and order in Uttar Pradesh in situations where the politically well connected are concerned. The Samajwadi Party government in the state merited obloquy for ignoring the transgressions of the powerful, which was among the reasons why it was so comprehensively defeated in the Assembly polls in the state that brought Adityanath to the Chief Minister’s chair. VIP immunity from accountability is a primary reason why India has lagged behind so many other countries of Asia (especially to its east) in development and in social uplift, and why the political class in India has shown the quickest and most increase in individual wealth, despite several of the individuals concerned having a less than stellar record in public achievement. In the case of the Sengars, they seem to be operating almost in a feudal manner, with the wives of the two brothers accused of rape being the president of the zilla parishad and the village pradhan of the location where the 17-year-old is claimed to have been assaulted. Small wonder that the police in the vicinity were so reluctant to accept a complaint made by the girl of forcible intimate relations with her, or why it was the girl’s father and not the depredators who beat him mercilessly who was booked for a crime under one of the many laws that the British colonial authority left behind in India to intimidate and harass the populace, and which have been added on to, rather than subtracted by the elected regimes that have come to office since 1947. If the father of the victim did not suffer mortal injury before being brought to the police station, the treatment he received at the hands of those sworn to uphold law and order was sufficient to cause his end. For this cold blooded murder, all those who participated in the beating up of a father anxious to secure justice for his brutally assaulted daughter need to be prosecuted for first degree murder and sent to prison for life, including those members of the police who wreaked their ire on the helpless man in the police station. During the period in office of the Samajwadi Party, police personnel belonging to two favoured communities were known to have enjoyed immunity from action despite several instances of misfeasance. Now reports are increasing that those belonging to Yogi Adityanath’s particular social group are being given favoured treatment across the state. This is not unusual, and has taken place during earlier regimes as well. However, it was expected of a sanyasi that he would shed caste and community preferences together with everyday clothes. Only such a disinterested outlook would merit the wearing of holy robes.

There are sometimes allegations of rape and unwanted physical relations with women that are not merited by the circumstances, for example those who come forward with allegations after months and even years of apparently consensual relations. The circumstances concerning a young Odiya student, Bitti Mohanty, still invites reconsideration in view of the totality of circumstances of his subsequently deadly relationship with a German national. Having been found guilty, and subsequently having been discovered in Kerala after changing his identity and working in a job, Mohanty has had his life destroyed by the case. However, in Unnao, there is zero doubt that an unconscionable assault took place on the teenager in question. Indeed, the girl needs to be given national recognition for her bravery and persistence in the face of the unwillingness of the local administration to take any action whatsoever against the perpetrators as a consequence of their political and social prominence.

Kuldip Sengar was elected on a BSP ticket and twice on a BJP ticket before he got elected on a BJP ticket. The BJP needs to reconsider its policy of accepting all and sundry from other parties, especially those with a less than admirable past. Here Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be commended for making the UP Chief Minister move against Sengar. This sends a signal to the entire country that the Prime Minister will not allow party and political considerations to stand in the way of justice to a teenager who has suffered the twin blows of being physically violated as well as having her father killed because he dared to protest the crime and believed that those in uniform would enforce the law rather than trample on it by framing him in a ridiculous case despite the tragic circumstances the father of the victim was in. Yogi Adityanath has finally shown he is serious about his law and order campaign by booking Kuldip Sengar. The MLA needs to be booked not only for alleged rape, but also in connection with the subsequent murder of the victim’s father.

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