Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh today targeted the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh over women's safety after a 23-year-old woman from Unnao, who was set on fire on Thursday by the men accused of raping her, died at a hospital in Delhi. While former Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav sat on a dharna outside the state assembly in Lucknow demanding the resignation of the chief minister, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra visited the family of the victim in Unnao and said "there is no place for women" in the state.
Akhilesh Yadav demanded the resignation of Yogi Adityanath and the state's top cop, and called it a black day for the country. "Till the day Uttar Pradesh chief minister, state home secretary and DGP don't resign, justice will not be done... This is a black day. It is not the first such incident under this BJP government. The chief minister had said in this very assembly, 'apradhiyon ko thok diya jayega' (convicts will be shot), they could not save the life of a daughter," Mr Yadav said.
Priyanka Gandhi, after visiting the family, too repeated Yogi Adityanath's comment to hit out at him. "Chief Minister is saying there is no place for criminals in the state but what he has turned the state into, I think there is no place for women here," she was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The woman had suffered 90 per cent burn injuries after five men, including the two men alleged of raping her, attacked her on Thursday morning while she was on her way for a court hearing in the rape case. She died of a cardiac arrest at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital late last night, where she had been airlifted a day earlier. The main accused in the case had just been released on bail a week earlier.
The circumstances in which the woman's alleged rapist was released are being questioned. So is the role of the police, who filed an FIR on her rape complaint in March, four months after she was allegedly gang-raped.
Priyanka Gandhi also alleged that she heard the attackers have a BJP connection. "Victim's whole family has been constantly harassed since last year. I have heard that the culprits have some BJP connection. That is why they were being shielded. There is no fear among criminals in the state," she added.
Former chief minister and BSP chief Mayawati too trained her guns at the BJP government in the state and said "not a single day goes by without a case of crime against women in Uttar Pradesh."
The chief minister, meanwhile, has announced that the case will be heard in a fast-track court and the "strictest of punishment will be given to the culprits."