In the light of the recent Unnao rape and assault case, it can be discerned that there is a double-edged sword of patriarchy and poverty looming over the justice system for crimes against women.


In 2017, 17-year-old goes missing from her village, Mankhi in Uttar Pradesh. She was allegedly gang-raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, his brother Atul Singh and their goons. The only association she had with the four-time Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Bangermau was that she had approached him for a job. Her family filed a missing person case with the police, and the girl was found in Auraiya village, two weeks later.


The next day, a case under Section 363 (kidnapping) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against the men. The next developments, in this case, took place more than a year later, when in April 2018, Sengar was arrested days after the girl threatened to set herself aflame outside Uttar Pradesh (UP) Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow. In the meantime, her father was arrested in an arms case and died in police custody. It has been alleged that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has deliberately left out the names of MLA Sengar and his brother in the case of the victim’s father’s death.


in the face of such brazen show of power, the family wrote to the Chief Justice of India on July 12, requesting refuge in the face of grave danger from the accused. Earlier last month, the uncle of the survivor was convicted in a 19-year-old case of attempt to murder that had been filed by Atul Singh. A few days later, in Rae Bareli, a truck-car collision (where the number-plate of the truck had been blackened) left the girl and her lawyer critically injured and two of her aunts were killed in the accident. The truck-driver and cleaner of this truck have been asked to undergo a narco test by the CBI.


Currently, the victim is battling for her life at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi now with multiple fractures, head and chest injuries, her lawyer is also on ventilator support. Meanwhile, the CBI has promised to take action against the Station House Officer (SHO) of Mankhi for causing deliberate delays in recording the victim’s complaints.


On August 1st, MLA Sengar was expelled by the central leadership of his political party and the Supreme Court transferred five cases of crimes committed against the rape survivor and her family from a CBI court in Lucknow to its counterpart in Delhi and ordered the UP government to pay her INR 25 lakh as interim compensation. The Tis Hazari court of Delhi has also found prima facie evidence to frame charges of rape, kidnapping, and criminal conspiracy against Sengar. He will also be charged under some sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.



UP has a high rate of crimes against women, mainly because many are reported, unlike in some other States. According to National Crime Records Bureau figures, released in 2016 – the last time data were uploaded – of the 38,947 cases of rape reported, the second highest was from U.P. (4,816). As for all crimes against women, Uttar Pradesh reported 14.5% (49,262 out of 3,38,954 cases) of the total, according to a report by The Hindu.


In a state where the abuse of power by virtue of political or bureaucratic connections has been the norm, the delivery of justice to the poor and backward sections of the society has always been a concern for law-keepers and policy-makers. In the specific context of crimes against women, there is also the added layer of complexity with respect to the inherent patriarchal values that have been normalised in the psyche of people for ages. The compensation to the victim and her family might bring some relief, despite the inordinate delay in justice but the reality is that even seven years since the shocking Nirbhaya case of Delhi, nothing changes on ground-zero. German professor Maria Mies once said, ‘Peace in patriarchy is a war against women,’ a statement that aptly summarises the reality of the justice system with respect to crimes against women in our country.


The rampant impunity of crimes against women and the outrageously unsafe living conditions in our society have failed each female of our nation, each day.


Image Caption: Accused MLA Kuldeep Sengar from Bangermau, Uttar Pradesh

Image Credits: Indian Express


Bhavya Pandey

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University of Delhi is set to get a new hostel, as a proposal by the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) President Shakti Singh is approved by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to allocate funds of INR 48 crore.

According to a press release by the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister (CM) of Uttar Pradesh is set to provide INR 48 crore for a new University of Delhi’s (DU) Hostel.

A proposal by Shakti Singh dated the 10th of June was approved by CM Yogi Adityanath the same day. The proposal addresses the difficulties faced by DU students while looking for student accommodation. The proposal also highlights that only 1-2% of students from Uttar Pradesh get hostel accommodation.

The new hostel requires approximately 3 acres of land to be built. The hostel is said to have 500 seats, and sports facilities over INR 3 crore. The total cost, including overhead charges amounts to INR 48 crore. The hostel is set to be constructed on the Uttar Pradesh government’s land in Delhi.

DUSU President Shakti Singh said on Twitter, “A big thank you to CM Yogi Adityanath Ji. I am highly thankful to you for the assurance of sanction of (INR) 48 Crore for the budget to build hostels for students of Uttar Pradesh in Delhi-NCR. It would be one major step towards accommodation.”

The promise of a new hostel brings relief to students even though the dates of construction and its unveiling remain unclear.  Finding cheap accommodation on campus, or in Delhi is not easy for the regular DU student. With rising costs of commercial accomodations (Paying Guests), and limited number of seats in the hostel, students are left with no choice but to opt for private accommodation which usually burns a hole in their pocket. In some cases, students are also subjected to harassment by brokers and landlords.

The move sounds promising, as currently, the University hostels lack various facilities, and the number of seats remains low. The University also has a history of protests related to the hostels, with the recent ones being the Hindu College hostel and the Daulat Ram College hostel rows. This move also leaves one wondering if the implementation of the new hostel would mean a revision in the current hostel rules and guidelines.

Feature Image Credits: Shakti Singh on Twitter

Jaishree Kumar

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Born Ajay Singh, the diminutive, shaven-headed politician is known for his powerful oratory, though most of his speeches hinge on divisive lines and has been in the forefront in keeping the communal politics alive in the country. We bring to you five changes he has brought since his appointment as the CM of Uttar Pradesh.

  1. ANTI-ROMEO SQUAD: The CM called an end to road-side harassment, and asked for the setting up of ‘anti-romeo’ squads all over the state. This Squad is supposed to keep a check on eve teasing cases, from day one itself, over 900 people have been questioned by these squads.


  1. PAN-BAN: He has ordered a ban on the consumption of pan, gutka in government offices and schools as a move to further the cause if ‘SwachhAbhiyaan”


  1. METRO: The new CM has also announced Metro train projects for Gorakhpur (his LokSabha constituency) and Jhansi.


  1. CRACKDOWN ON MEAT: He ordered a crackdown on illegal slaughter houses and meat shops, and to check cow smuggling. Many meat shops were burnt and businesses on strike with supplies drying up. The government has clarified that only illegal abattoirs would be targeted. 2 Illegal slaughterhouses in Allahabad (Rambagh and Atala slaughterhouses) have been sealed. Moreover, several meat shops and slaughterhouses in Lucknow and Varanasi that had been operating illegally have been sealed. This also included the iconic ‘Tundey Kebab’ shop in Lucknow.


  1. REVELATION OF MINISTERIAL INCOMES: An hour after he took oath on March 19, Adityanath ordered all ministers to declare their income, movable and immovable properties within 15 days. He asked them to submit declarations to the CM secretariat.


Anahita Sahu
[email protected]

Image credits: indianexpress.com