India at its worst. Stay away from Uttar Pradesh!

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दूर उत्तर प्रदेश से दूर रहो!   “Stay away from Uttar Pradesh!”

by Alan Simons

The picture below was published yesterday by OneIndia News. I thought carefully about whether to publish it, or remain silent.  Then, I remembered the quote made famous by Helen Keller: “Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings.”

“On an average 10 rapes are reported everyday in Uttar Pradesh, a senior police official said today quoting National Crime Record Bureau data.”

These days too many of us lower our eyes and remain silent on issues that we would prefer to remain at arm’s length, especially those which occur in a part of the world far away from our cultural abode. Yet, sometimes something shakes us up and awakens us. Be it in lawless Pakistan – Tarek Fatah, the Canadian author, has coined it “Darkistan” –  at the stoning of a bride by her own family and then finding out the bride’s husband had killed his first wife to marry her. Or now in Badaun, India, at the gang rape and hangings of two teenage girls, in a state most of us have never heard of called Uttar Pradesh. Yet, although these two stories reflect societies that value nothing of life as I know it, reading the news report below disturbed me so much that I felt the need to share my anguish.

Here’s some of what the Press Association had to say about the murdered teenage girls:

Two police officers who failed to investigate the disappearance of two teenage girls in India who were gang-raped and later found hanging from a tree have been fired.

The firings came as the top official in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where the incident took place, mocked journalists for asking about the attack.

“Aren’t you safe? You’re not facing any danger, are you?” Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said in Lucknow, the state capital. “Then why are you worried? What’s it to you?”

The gang rape, with video of the cousins’ bodies hanging from a mango tree, was the top story on India’s 24-hour news stations. But over the past few days, Uttar Pradesh has also seen the mother of a rape victim attacked and a 17-year-old girl gang-raped by four men…

Official statistics say about 25,000 rapes are committed every year in India, a nation of 1.2 billion people. But activists say that number is very low, since women are often pressed by family or police to stay quiet about sexual assaults.

While sexual assaults are reported across India, there have been a string of high-profile attacks in just the past few days in Uttar Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh is a state located in northern India. It was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces, and was renamed Uttar Pradesh in 1950.

On Thursday, police arrested three men for brutally attacking the mother of a rape victim after she refused to withdraw her complaint.

The attack, in the town of Etawah, followed the May 11 rape of the woman’s teenage daughter. A local man was arrested after the mother filed a complaint with authorities.

Five men, including the father, a brother and a cousin of the man accused in the rape, followed the victim’s mother away from her house on Monday and beat her, demanding she drop the accusation, said Dinesh Kumar, the town’s police superintendent. The mother was in critical condition in a hospital, with numerous broken bones and internal injuries.

Police arrested three men on Thursday for the attack and were looking for two others.

On Wednesday, a 17-year-old woman was attacked in a field and raped by four men in southwestern Uttar Pradesh. One man has been arrested.

(Credit of content, in part: PA | Photo: One India News)

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