File photo: Ram Vilas Paswan
New Delhi: Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan today visited Badaun district in Uttar Pradesh to meet the family members of the two girls who were gang-raped and murdered last week. He is the latest in a line of political heavyweights who have visited the tiny village in Badaun after the case grabbed national attention.
Following are the latest developments in the Badaun gang-rape case:
- Mr Paswan, who is the chief of the Lok Janshakti Party, visited the families along with his son Chirag Paswan, who is also an MP and chairman of the party's Parliamentary Board.
- The visit of Consumer Affairs Minister Mr Paswan, a Dalit leader, is the first by any union minister to the village of the victims.
- Yesterday, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati had visited the family members of the victims, and stepped up her attack on the Samajwadi Party government alleging it was perpetrating "jungle raj" and there was attempt to put the case on the back burner.
- But Ms Mayawati's visit to the family was not without controversy. A farmer's land was cleared of crops to build a helipad for the BSP chief. A tent and a stage were also constructed for her. Her visit came a day after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the village.
- Yesterday, local Samajwadi Party MP Dharmendra Yadav also reached the village where he faced the anger of the inconsolable parents who have alleged that the police did not take prompt action in the case because of their caste.
- The BJP has announced will today protest outside chief minister Akhilesh Yadav's office in Lucknow. BJP's women workers will hold the protest over the increasing instances of crime against women in the state.
- Raising questions over the role of police in gang-rape and murder of two sisters in Badaun and rape cases in Azamgarh and Etawah, the BJP has demanded that First Information Reports or FIRs should be lodged against police officers right from Inspector General to outpost in charge.
- Today, the United Nations also released a statement condemning the gang-rape and murders in Badaun.
- The two teenaged cousins, aged 15 and 14, were gang-raped and killed on the night of May 27. Their bodies were found hanging from a tree the next day. Police had allegedly refused to register a first information report for hours.
- All five accused who had been identified are under arrest. Two are yet to be identified.