MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES
Maintenance of law and order should be the top priority of any government for if the citizens cannot be guaranteed protection for life all the rest is nothing but vanity. After BJP romped to power in the last assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Yogi Adityanath was sworn in as the Chief Minister, people had high hopes that the law and order situation would improve. The term Yogi implies the one who does Yoga or more significantly the one whose mind and body are disciplined and the soul is liberated. But what do we see ever since the new government was sworn in. Things have been moving from bad to worse. The state has been witnessing repeated instances like lynching of the innocents on the misplaced charges of being illegal cattle transporters, forcing people to chant Jai Sri Ram, Jai Hanuman etc. The worst among all is the rape of the minor in Unnao in 2017, not that such rapes do not occur elsewhere but more palpable since it took years to frame the charges because a BJP MLA was involved in the dastardly crime. Even more deplorable is the fact that the survivor’s father was wrongly framed under the Arm’s Act which ultimately ended in his custodial death. To top it up just during the last week, the vehicle in which the survivor, her lawyer and her two aunts were travelling was hit by a truck resulting in the death of the aunts and causing life-threatening injuries to the survivor and her lawyer, who are housed in the ICU, and the same MLA and a minister’s son-in-law have been charged. On Thursday, the Supreme Court, taking serious note of the undue delay in the matter, shifted the trial out of Lucknow to New Delhi, with stern directive to complete the proceedings on day-to-day basis within 45 days and also to complete the investigation on the truck-car clash, whether it was an accident or pre-meditated act amounting to murder. The government has also been asked to pay an interim relief of Rs 25 lakh to the survivor. What a disgrace for the Yogi administration that it could not mete out justice as per the law and that the judiciary had to intervene.