Woman empowerment has remained the most debated topic of the 21st century. Breaking age old shackles, females have stepped out of the house to carve a niche for themselves on the national and international level. However, it is a vice versa scene when it comes to our own Uttar Pradesh.

Interestingly, at a time when the fairer sex is calling the shots in several parts of the country, females of UP are being harassed, abused, thrashed, humiliated, scoffed and disgraced in full public view. Madam (Sonia Gandhi) heads the United Progressive Alliance, Didi (Mamata Banerjee) demolished the 34-year-old bastion of Left Front in West Bengal, Amma (Jayalalitha) has yet again proved her supremacy in Tamil Nadu and our own Behenji (Mayawati) is at the helm of activities in UP.

Despite the glossy image, the ground reality depicts a different picture altogether. Be it urban area or rural belt, leave aside the night hours the females are not even safe during the daytime. The past few years have come up with some shocking incidents of crime aimed at females which can send a chill down the spine of any human being.

Jagran Post throws a light on few such crime activities reported in UP which reflect the audacious attitude of people who still regard females as a mere show piece who can be used and thrown at their own whims and fancies. Although Uttar Pradesh has a female Chief Minister who is a Dalit, cases of female atrocities have been reported frequently in the different parts of the state.

Banda

People of the district are yet to come out of the shocking memories of Sheelu rape case which hadhogged the national limelight. The issue shook the very roots of the Bahujan Samaj Party government inthe state as a party legislator was booked under the charges of rape. A resident of Sehbaazpur village,Sheelu Nishad was allegedly raped by BSP MLA from Nareni Banda Purshottam Naresh Dwivedi and his close aides in the politician’s residence. Making the situation even more worse for the ruling party, the girl was arrested on the charges of theft at the MLA’s residence. After spending 31 days in Banda district jail, the girl was freed after the interference of Mayawati and on the order of the Allahabad High Court. Later, the BSP MLA and his accomplices were arrested taken to jail.

Kanpur

1.    There can be no better example of UP police highhandedness than the Divya Singh sexual assault cum murder case of Kanpur. A Class VI student of Bharati Gyan Sthali School of Kanpur, 12-year-old Singh was sexually assaulted inside the ‘temple of education’ and the barbaric act eventually led to her death on September 27, 2010.

Instead of arresting the main culprit, the Kalyanpur police of Kanpur nabbed an innocent person andframed him responsible for the brutal act. However, Sonu Singh Bhadoria (victim’s mother) continued her struggle for justice and ensured that the main culprit later identified as the son of the school owner was arrested. Ironically, in a sharp contrast to the police investigation the CB-CID team after the DNA test, confirmed that school owner’s son was involved in the crime. The incident came as a major humiliation for the state government as police team was found helping the culprits rather than taking action against them.

2.    The police efforts to defend the guilty in the alleged rape case in Parauli village of Ghatampur area in Kanpur went in vain. On September 3, 2010 a 17-year-old girl set herself ablaze in her village residence.

Her father Ashok Kumar claimed that she was raped few days back, and he had approached the Ghatampur police to lodge an FIR against the alleged persons. Police team had refused to lodge a case and pressurized the father for a compromise with the accused persons. Ashok maintained that his daughter was disappointed with police role in the episode and therefore she set herself on fire. Several politicians including firebrand BJP leader Varun Gandhi visited Parauli to express his solidarity to the family in their fight for justice. The suicide led to a major controversy as Parauli residents came out on roads and attacked the police party. After much hue and cry, a case was lodged and the alleged persons were arrested.

Etawah

The alleged Sonam rape case is yet another sordid chapter in the history of Uttar Pradesh which speaks volume about the ignorance of females. Sonam and her five relatives were arrested by Etawah police in December 2010. They were arrested on charges of provoking Sonam’s husband for suicide. For more than a month, Sonam and her relatives were lodged in Etawah district jail.

During one of the hearing in Etawah court, Sonam made the startling revelation that she was raped in the presence of her husband on December 16. She had alleged Vinod Awasthi, Principal of a school of raping her in December 2010. She accused that her husband Ganesh Shanker Shankar a close friend of Awasthi and he was present in the house when the Principal raped her.

Ganesh Shanker Sharma, who committed suicide on December 21, 2010, had married Sonam on June 19. Ganesh worked as a computer teacher at a degree college at Lakhna.

The 19-year-old woman made the allegation in an application moved in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate of Etawah on January 18, said her father Vanslal. Awasthi is the Principal of a school owned by BSP legislator from Bhartana Shiv Prasad Yadav. According to Vanslal and his daughter the MLA had used his influence to save Awasthi as the latter was employed in former’s school.

In February 2011, Sonam and her relatives were bailed out. Following her complaint, Etawah police lodged a case against the principal and alleged policemen.

Unnao

Ambikapur village resident of Unnao district Kavita Bharati Rawat (18) fell from the terrace of her house on August 27 and was rushed to LLR hospital of Kanpur. Following the adivse of doctors the parents took her to Chandni Nursing Home.

On September 3,2010 Rawat informed her parents that a ward boy, Rakesh Singh, had raped her. Rawat’s father Subedar Rawat said, the ward boy asked his wife, Kiran, to move out of the the ICU for some time. According to him, no other patient was admitted in the ICU on September 3. “This gave the opportunity to the ward boy to execute his malicious intentions,” he added.

Making the situation worse for the police and hospital authorities, the female died in the late evening hours of September 3.

Her death sparked off a major controversy and it was only after much criticism Kanpur police made few arrests in the case.

Fatehpur

After a minor girl tried to resist a rape attempt in February 2011, she was brutally attacked in Udrauli village of Fatehpur district. Her one ear was chopped off and deep gashes were inflicted on her hands, face and head.

On the complaint lodged by her father Badlu Ram, the police team lodged a case against three persons. Badlu Ram said, “My daughter’s only fault was that she tried to put forth a resistance before the miscreant.”

The issue drew much controversy as several prominent politicians including Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, Smriti Irani, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Surya Pratap Shahi and Shivpal Singh Yadav visited the LLR Hospital to meet the girl and her family members.

Lucknow

1.    A Class XII student was abducted from Indira Nagar area at gun point and alleged raped by two unidentified youths on October 11, 2011. A case in this context had been lodged at Ghazipur police station. The unidentified youths took the girl to a location in Gomti Nagar and sexually assaulted her. Thereafter, the duo left her at the spot and escaped.

2.    A 10-year minor was allegedly raped in Kakauli village uder Madiaon police station on June 9. A 30-year-old villager identified as Jaswat alias Pappu Yadav reportedly raped the minor. Acting on the complaint, the police team arrested the alleged person.

3.    Not only the far off districts, but even the state capital is equally unsafe for females. On October 10, 2011 a girl from a nearby village was allegedly raped behind the Fun Mall in Gomti Nagar area. Ironically, it is among the posh localities which bulk of VVIPs of Lucknow reside. A girl after attending CPMT coaching in Indira Nagar area, who two motor cycle borne youngster approached her and said that her father has been arrested and taken to Ghazipur police station. They introduced themselves as cops asked the girl to come along with them to the police station. They took the girl a lonely sport and raped her.

Barabanki

A 11-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped by a youth in Dewa on June 25. While, she was on way back to her hone in Ibrahimpur Khurd village in the night hours, a person identified as Shiv Kumar dragged her to an isolated place and raped her. Barabanki police had informed media persos that Shiv has been arrested.

Gorakhpur

A teenage girl was allegedly raped by two people including a GRP constable while she was waiting for a Delhi-bound train at Gorakhpur railway station on August 19, 2009. One of them was arrested, whereas the unidentified Constable managed to escape. A case has already been registered against the accused persons at Gorakhpur GRP police station. 

According to the victim, one Abhishek Dubey lured her to Railway Parcel House and raped her with the help of a police constable.

Varanasi

A girl was found with her throat slit in Varanasi on June 21, 2011. The post mortem confirmed that she was raped before being murdered. The police team recovered a saw from the spot of incident. During that period, this was the eight rape case reported in UP during a period of 48 hours.

Police is yet to confirm the identity of the girl but the she was last spotted with two men near a city market. Police have also recovered a saw from the crime scene and are trying to trace the culprits. This is the eighth rape reported in UP in the last 48 hours.

Azamgarh

1.    A teenager raped a nine-year-old girl in Azamgarh Kotwali area on January 28, 2011. The girl was dragged into a field by one Pawan Chauhan (16) in Hafizpur village and raped there. The girl was on way back to her residence, when the unfortunate incident was reported. Later the villagers caught hold of Chauhan and handed him over to the local police. The girl was admitted in the district hospital, but on doctor’s advise was rushed to Varanasi for further treatment.

2.    A 17-year-old physically disabled girl was alleged raped by a 70-year-old man in the Raunapur village of Azamgarh on March 31, 2011. 70-year-old Sobhnath Ram raped his neighbour’s disabled daughter. According to the family members, Sobhnath had been physically harassing the female for a period of a year. The matter emerged on the surface only after the female got pregnant and she informed her family members about the whole issue. Later an FIR was lodged against the alleged person.

Agra

Between April and July 2011 more than 25-sex related cases were reported in Agra which plays host to maximum number of foreign tourists.  0n April 4, a youth was beaten up by a mob in Etmauddaula area for allegedly raping a girl. A girl was gangraped in Malpura area and held hostage for a period of fortnight till April 15. On April 18, a minor girl was abducted, raped and thrown on the rail track in Namnair area.

In Khandauli areaa four-year-girl was kidnapped, raped and her body was thrown into the village well April 22. A six-year-old was raped in Tajganj area on April 30. A house owner tried to molest his tenant’s 10-year-old daughter in the Nunihai industrial areaon June 12.

On September 24, 2007, Agra police arrested two persons on the charges of raping two Japanese tourists and holding them hostage for three days. The two females had lodged a complaint at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport police station after they managed to escape from the clutches of the kidnappers.

JPN