The former chief minister said such "heinous" crimes indicate towards the deteriorating law and order in the state. Mayawati said these incidents show that the present Samajwadi Party government has failed to ensure the safety of people, especially women, in the state.

"The SP government and its head must tell the people if they can return the modesty of women in such a painful and henious crime," she said in a statement here.

The Bahujan Samaj Party chief alleged that there was a "complete jungleraaj" in the state as criminals roam freely. She also demanded action against the policemen "for their negligence." Congress spokesman D P Singh called the incident shameful. "The manner in which the crime was committed on national highway indicates poor law and order situation in UP," he said.

BJP state unit general-secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak claimed law and order has derailed in UP and police administration has become lax.

"It's a slap on the face of police administration, which makes tall claims of ensuring saftey of the people," he said. On Friday night, when the family was travelling from Noida to Shahjahanpur by car a group of bandits waylaid them, dragged the women, including the 13-year-old girl, out of their car to a nearby field and raped them while the men were tied with ropes.

They also looted cash, jewellery and mobile phones, SSP Vaibhav Krishna has said. Fifteen people have been detained in connection with the incident.

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