Bharatiya Janata Party supporters are stopped by police
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
A woman was hanged from a tree in India's state of Uttar
Pradesh and another was allegedly raped in a police station,
police said, the latest incidents in a wave of crimes against
women reported in the country's most populous region over the
past two weeks.
Police suspect the hanged woman was raped before being
murdered, bringing to five the number of rapes reported in
the past 36 hours in the state, including two women who were
"The sub-inspector accused of committing the rape of the
woman has been put under arrest while we have launched a
manhunt for the three constables accused of being party to
the crime," a spokesman at state police headquarters said.
The latest reports come after two girls, aged 12 and 14, were
gang-raped and hanged from a tree on May 27, the day after
Narendra Modi was sworn in as prime minister.
The two cousins, from a low-caste community, went missing
from their home in Uttar Pradesh when they went to an outdoor
toilet. The next morning, villagers found their bodies
hanging from a mango tree in a nearby orchard.
Workers from Modi's party clashed with police when they tried
to march on the office of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to
protest against the violence, and opposition parties have
demanded Yadav's dismissal.
Yadav has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),
the country's top crime-fighting agency, to investigate the
case. The CBI on Thursday said it registered a case against
three people and two police officials.
Uttar Pradesh is one of the world's poorest regions and has
largely missed out on the economic boom that swept much of
India over the past decade. Its population of 208 million is
larger than that of Russia, and it has endured a string of
revolving door governments that have pandered to narrow caste
Yadav met businessmen in New Delhi on Thursday to drum up
investment and said reports of lawlessness were exaggerated.
"In Uttar Pradesh, not only is the atmosphere good but law
and order, compared with many other states, is also better,"
Yadav told reporters.
His government later issued a press release that some of
India's most prominent companies, including Reliance
Industries Ltd and ITC Ltd, had pledged $9.2 billion in
investment in the state at the meeting.
Yadav ran his 2012 election campaign as a moderniser,
advocating the use of technology to transform the state.
However, his term in office has been marred by scandals over
riots, gangsterism, and now, sex crimes.
His father, a former chief minister widely seen as the power
behind the throne in the state, drew widespread condemnation
earlier this year when he said rape laws should be softened
and that "boys will be boys" - sometimes committing rape by
As in many parts of the world, conservative Indian leaders
across the political spectrum frequently blame rape on the
victims' dress and social behaviour.
Modi broke his silence on the issue in a speech to parliament
on Wednesday, saying India needed to protect and respect
women and that the government needed to act.
He also asked politicians to refrain from making comments
about why rape happened. A senior member of Modi's own party
last week said rape was a social issue, and "sometimes right,