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Comparison of Hathras, Baran cases ‘totally unfair’: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot


JAIPUR: Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday accused the BJP of using the incident of the alleged rape of two minor sisters from Rajasthan‘s Baran district to divert attention from the Hathras gang-rape case and said a comparison between the two is “totally unfair”.

The state government is open to BJP leaders visiting Baran so that they know what the truth is, Gehlot told PTI.

Two minor sisters from Baran went missing on September 19 and were found in Kota on September 22. The girls were handed over to their families after recording their statements, according to police.

The police said both the girls, in their statements, made it clear that they were not raped and had gone to Kota on their own without being forced.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, a 19-year-old woman was brutally assaulted and allegedly raped by four men on September 14. She succumbed to her injuries a fortnight later in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital. Her hurried cremation in the dead of the night, allegedly without her parents’ consent, created further outrage.

“The barbaric and shameful incident in Hathras has shocked the entire country and it has also exposed the reality of the BJP once again. The country saw what happened in Hathras. No government in the country has ever behaved the way the UP government has behaved,” Gehlot said.

“Every crime, be it in any state, is condemnable. There can be no compromise on women’s safety but the comparison of the Hathras incident with the Baran incident is totally unfair. We are open to BJP leaders visiting Baran so that they can know what the truth is. On the other hand, what happened in Hathras is known to all,” he said.

The BJP has been targeting the Rajasthan government over the Baran incident. The opposition party has raised questions as to why Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra did not visit Baran.

The two Congress leaders had visited Hathras to meet the family of the 19-year-old woman.

Gehlot alleged that the BJP is trying to divert public attention from the gruesome crime which took place in Hathras.

“The victim’s mother kept crying to be able to see her daughter for the last time but she was cremated forcibly. Which Hindu culture does the BJP talk about when the cremation was done at night? Why was it done? This raises serious questions on the Yogi government and what happened later also exposes the reality of the BJP,” he said.

The brutality of the Hathras incident has triggered widespread outrage. The victim had suffered spinal injuries, paralysis and cuts in her tongue.

Gehlot also demanded that the Centre make it compulsory for all states to register an FIR every time a crime is reported and said he will write a letter to the Union home minister putting forth his views.

He said the measure, which was implemented in Rajasthan last year, will ensure that there is no under-reporting of crime.

“I am writing a letter to the union home minister saying that the registration of FIRs should be compulsory in every state. We made it mandatory last year that FIR will be registered in the SP’s office if the SHO refuses to lodge a case and people are quite satisfied with this arrangement,” Gehlot said.

“It is a step towards good governance and should be implemented across the country for providing relief to people who face hardship in registering cases,” he said.

Gehlot said the registration of crimes has increased in Rajasthan because of this arrangement.

“We knew that the number of cases will increase and questions will be raised but the government took the decision. Now FIRs are registered in police stations in Rajasthan and no complaint goes unreported,” he said.

He said people often complain that police did not register their FIRs or misbehaved with them. There has been a decline in such complaints in Rajasthan after the registration of FIRs was made compulsory.

The chief minister said the National Crime Records Bureau also pointed out in its crime report for 2019 that ‘rise in crime’ and ‘increase in registration of crime by police’ are two different things, a fact that is often confused.

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