"In many places, when the relationship between girls and boys come out in open, it is termed as rape. In many places, girls and boys are ready (to marry) but honour killings take place. The most saddening and serious thing is that such incidents are not stopping. These incidents happen in other places also but are not highlighted," senior SP leader Ramgopal Yadav said.
SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said his party's government in the state was "not insensitive" and was taking action against the culprits. "What to do...we are sensitive. We are not insensitive... Strict action is being taken against culprits. You do your work and let us do our work," he said, when asked to comment on rising cases of rape in the state where his son is the chief minister.
Mulayam had last month raked up a huge controversy on rape cases when he had publicly said, "Ladke, ladke hain, galti ho jati hai (Boys are boys, they make such mistakes). That doesn't mean that you award them capital punishment." Attacking media for "deliberately" focusing on such incidents only in Uttar Pradesh, Ramgopal Yadav said similar cases happened in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra but they were not highlighted.
He said strict punishment would be given to those involved in such wrongdoings but the society as whole has to work together to put an end to it and till that time, "it cannot be stopped fully and it is impossible." He said these days one also gets to hear incidents where fathers have raped their daughters..."this is (due to) mental disturbance and nothing else." Yadav said similar incidents have happened in Jhalawar in Rajasthan where a lady was raped and later burnt by her assailants.
Madhya Pradesh and Mumbai have also witnessed such incidents. "No leader visited those places but since, media said the two girls (in Badaun) were Dalits, everybody went there and even demanded registration of a case under the SC/ST Act when the girls belonged to backward classes," he said.