Is Yogi govt in a political soup over Hathras?

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India again woke up to a series of brutal rape incidents on September as one rape after another rocked Uttar Pradesh recently. As everyone seems busy demanding justice for the victim in Hathras incident, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath seems to be busy dilly dallying the entire shameful episode. Interestingly CM Yogi has been resorting to various tactics to silence his critics and political opponents when he blamed political parties and civil society organisations for attempting to create a caste divide in the aftermath of the Hathras gang-rape. As one looks back at his rule since 2017 it makes clear the fact that both his political and religious upbringing testify his immunity to such sensibilities. Where on one hand, cases of rape and atrocities against women have multiplied in UP after Yogi taking charge of the state, on the other, the CM very casually pins it on international conspiracy behind the ghastly episodes. For a moment there, after coming under tremendous attack, the BJP leadership even contemplated elevating his junior to occupy his position. But it took awhile for the learned Indian community to understand that the step was a mere strategy to divert the attention of the people.

As for Yogi, it seems pinning the blame to opposition political parties and civil society organisations, is the best option out of the current hotpot. But it seems that the same strategy has now got the CM in a boiling pot as the conscious eyes have now put his government under public scrutiny. The question here is the fact that if he was aware of the plot, why did he not act on time? Why is Yogi reluctant to name the person or the organisation who is involved? The affidavit filed by Yogi’s government blames certain sections of print and electronic media and some political parties trying to mislead the public and to create caste and communal disharmony in the state. With the social media labelling majority media in the nation as being pet to BJP and Modi, the question now arises that how can the media at the same time be in favour of BJP in the country and in opposition of Yogi in UP?

Moreover, the Yogi government’s request to Supreme Court, in its affidavit, to order a court-monitored probe by the CBI into the gang-rape case, has triggered protests across the country. While the state police and district officials threatened the parents of the victim not to open their mouth, the government claimed, in its affidavit, “The district administration took the decision to convince the parents of the victim to cremate her with all religious rites at night to avoid large scale violence in the morning.” With all this duplicity, it seems evident that the Yogi government does not intend to have a free and fair investigation into the case. From the beginning it tried its best to protect the culprits which was why it did not caution the Rajput lords to hold panchayat meetings and demand exoneration of the rapists and killers. The fact of the matter is Hathras incident where a Dalit girl was allegedly raped and brutally murdered and the subsequent high-handed handling of the situation by Uttar Pradesh police and government, points to some disturbing issues.

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