“मार्च में मेरे शासनकाल के दो वर्ष पूरे होंगे। मेरे अब तक के शासन में, कोई दंगा नहीं हुआ है।” (I will be completing two years of my tenure as the CM. In my tenure, there have been no riots).
“हमने संगठित किस्म के अपराध पर एक हद तक काबू पा लिया है। हमने कानून के राज को मजबूत बनाया है। पारिवारिक झगड़े या निजी दुश्मनी के कुछ मामलों को छोड़ दें तो फिर पूरे प्रदेश में अब लोग सुरक्षित हैं।” (We have controlled organised crimes. We have strengthened law and order. With the exception of family feuds or personal fights, people in the whole of the state are now safe)
These are two tweets by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Yogi Adityanath in March this year shall complete two years of his tenure as the Chief Minister. But the question that looms is on what basis have these claims been made?
Maximum communal clashes witnessed in UP in 2017
In March last year, the Union Home Ministry placed a statistics of the communal clashes in 2017 in Parliament. The statistics painted a worrisome picture as it said that the incidents of communal violence had gone up to 822 in 2017, killing 111 people. The number of deaths was said to be the highest in four years.
Four states – Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Jharkhand accounted for 15% of these incidents. Also, among the four states, Uttar Pradesh topped. With 44 deaths and 540 people injured in 2017 in the state, UP surpassed its own number of 29 deaths in 2016 and 22 in 2015.
Interestingly, just a few months before the report was presented, CM Yogi had even then said that not a single riot took place after he took the oath. “When we came to power, hooliganism was at its peak and there was not a day when riots did not take place…the governments at the helm used to call over rioters and honour them…but in these eight months not a single riot has taken place,” he had then said in a local election campaign.
“People in the state, now safe”- myth or reality?
Two rape cases which rocked the entire nation last year were that from Unnao and Kathua. Not only because of the nature of the crime and that the victims were minor, but also due to the events which followed. Talking about the Unnao rape case specifically, the main accused was a BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar. The girl after a futile wait of months to get justice, tried to commit suicide along with her family in front of UP CM’s residence. Even after a year post this incident, justice still remains to be served.
This is not an isolated incident. A report by The Times of India said that the crime against women rose by 24% in 2018 alone in UP. This means that 8 women were raped every day on an average. Further, more than 100 FIRs of crimes against women were lodged daily.
Not just women, crimes against minorities have also seen an increase. There has been a spurt in hate crimes in the state. As reported by Newsclick, there were 21 mob attacks in 2018 alone resulting in five deaths. At least 70% of these incidents were a result of cow vigilantism. And the prime victims of these incidents were from the Muslim community. Even police have now become victims. In December, two mob attacks in the state took the lives of two police personnel.
All this prompted the civil servants from the All India and Central Services to write a letter demanding the resignation of CM Yogi in the wake of these incidents.
The Logical Indian take
At the time when the news is filled with horrific incidents from UP and even with these facts and figures, CM Yogi making such claims is almost comical. It must be noted that in order to solve a problem, those in power are required to accept that the problem exists. Not doing that will only worsen the situation.