Bharatiya Janata Party supporters shout slogans as police
use a water cannon to stop them from moving towards the
office of Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of Uttar
Pradesh, during a protest against recent rape and hanging
of two girls, in Lucknow. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar
Workers from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party
have clashed with police in Uttar Pradesh over the rape and
hanging of two girls last week that have sparked an
Police used water cannon to disperse protesters when they
tried to march on the office of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav
in Lucknow, capital of the northern state.
Yadav is from the regional Samajwadi Party that suffered
heavy losses to Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the
recent general election. He come under fire over lawlessness
in his state and the failure of police to investigate sex
State governments are responsible for law enforcement in
India. The BJP protesters, mainly women, also called for the
imposition of direct presidential rule in Uttar Pradesh,
India's most populous state.
No BJP leader has visited the village where the two girls,
aged 12 and 14, were murdered last Tuesday. Modi has yet to
comment on the killings.
A cabinet minister, from a party allied to the BJP, became
the first high-ranking representative of Modi's week-old
government to visit the scene on Monday.
"The whole country is shaken but neither the chief minister
nor any minister who are there has come to this place," said
Ram Vilas Paswan, who is Modi's minister for consumer
affairs, food and public distribution.
"This means that either they are scared of the public or they
are trying to protect the culprits," he added.
Three suspects who are brothers from the powerful Yadav caste
have been arrested along with two police constables.
Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister, has since called for the
murders to be investigated by India's top crime agency, the
Central Bureau of Investigation. Officials from his party
denied that the government had failed to act over the
"In the Budaun rape case, I feel that every possible measure
that could have been taken has been taken," Gaurav Bhatia, a
Samajwadi party spokesman, told news channel CNN-IBN.