Deep rot of lawlessness

With sordid events of crime continuing to unfold in Uttar Pradesh every few minutes and the horrific ones among them making the headlines every few weeks, the state epitomises absence of rule of law. Especially lacking in security of life and dignity are the weak and downtrodden. In the latest shocker, two teenaged sisters were found dead under mysterious circumstances in Pilibhit. The district is yet to serve justice to its six-year-old daughter who had been raped and murdered last November. The dreadful deeds that the poor daughters of Hathras and Badaun suffered are unforgettable. These and the many other cases — both registered and not registered — underscore the shameful data revealed in the annual NCRB reports. The 2019 figures point to the state having the most number of crimes against the girl child and dowry cases, and the second highest number of cases of rape against Dalit women. A case of rape was registered with the UP police every two hours and a crime against a child every 90 minutes.

Sadly, compounding the grim situation is the failure of governance and law enforcement to check the soaring crime. Rather, an atmosphere of fear and vigilantism against the minorities with impunity is perpetrated, by the thriving politician-police-criminal nexus. The ordinary citizen is denied justice. Getting the prosecution process going is a frustratingly arduous task. The long-winded criminal justice system, sagging under the weight of a massive backlog of cases and poor conviction rate, buries the victims in deeper malaise.

In this state of broad disorderliness, a gritty dhaba owner taking on the two head constables who refused to pay up the food bill provides much-needed hope. The audacious and abusive cops had slapped false charges against him, his staff and some customers present at the time, as also a fake ‘encounter’. A month and a half later, the cops find the tables turned, with FIRs registered against them. It remains to be seen if the youngster who has dared to dent the standard template of cops riding roughshod over the common man gets a fair trial.

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