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Never Promised Crime-free UP: BJP Minister Suresh Khanna's Bizarre U-turn

“It (UP) is such a big state, we never talked about zero crime. But if there is a culprit, that person shall be punished,” said Khanna.

News18.com

Updated:May 26, 2017, 11:54 AM IST
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Never Promised Crime-free UP: BJP Minister Suresh Khanna's Bizarre U-turn
File Photo of UP BJP minister Suresh Khanna. (CNN-News18/ TV Grab)

New Delhi: Responding to the recent spate of crime and clashes in the state, UP minister Suresh Kumar Khanna said that the government did not promise a ‘crime-free UP’.

“It (UP) is such a big state, we never talked about zero crime. But if there is a culprit, that person shall be punished,” said Khanna.

The BJP had come to power in the north Indian state with a resounding victory in March 2017. The newly elected Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, during his initial days, had promised to crack down on crime.

Clarifying his stand later to CNN-News18, Suresh Khanna said, “The last government supported criminals. When I said we can’t make UP crime free, I did not mean incidents such as rape.”

ALSO READ | Man Shot, Four Women Sexually Assaulted on Greater Noida Expressway

“Even the smallest incident was noted and action taken against it. The Home Ministry has even sent a committee to Saharanpur,” said the minister, talking about the clashes.

Talking about the Jewar gang-rape case, Khanna said, “I am in Varanasi right now and I don’t know the details of what has happened in Jewar. Rest assured, the government is always on alert and the investigation is on. No culprit would go free.”

Reacting to the crime wave and Khanna’s comments, Samajwadi Party leader Rajendra Chaudhary said, “Crime is on the rise in the state... How can a minister say this? The BJP is cheating the people of UP. This is a failure of the government... What is the governor doing?”

In April, clashes between the upper caste Thakurs and Dalits were first reported from Shabbirpur village of Saharanpur District. The clash started as Thakurs allegedly prevented Dalits from installing a statue of BR Ambedkar inside the Ravidas temple in the village.

ALSO READ | When Caste Killed Community in Saharanpur

Things escalated on May 5 when a Dalit group allegedly objected to a procession of Thakurs to mark the birth anniversary of Rajput king Maharana Pratap. This triggered violence in which one person was killed and over 15 injured.

The area has been simmering with communal tension since then. Another round of violence was reported on Tuesday which claimed a youth’s life following a visit by BSP supremo Mayawati.

In another incident, a man was shot dead and four women were sexually assaulted by a group of men in Jewar on the Greater Noida Expressway.

The family of seven — four women, two teenagers and a man — was on their way to Bulandshahr to visit a relative admitted in a hospital.

As they were driving down the Greater Noida Expressway, the tyres of the car were punctured by the attackers. When some of the family members got down from the vehicle, they were attacked by a group of six men.

The women were allegedly dragged to a nearby field and sexually assaulted. When the man protested he was shot dead.​

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