Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Wednesday that the state will take strict action against all men who have extra-marital affairs, and this includes Hindu men.
Adityanath also said that his government will fight cases of triple talaq on the behalf of the women who have filed such cases. And all these steps are part of his fight for women’s empowerment in the state.
In a video by CNN-News18, Adityanath is heard saying, “This is part of our fight for women’s empowerment.”
A few years after the failure of his controversial anti-Romeo squads, Adityanath may want to mask this move of moral policing in the garb of women’s empowerment, but his words ring hollow at a time when at least two women from his state are fighting for justice in rape cases against netas from the BJP.
One of the women, who accused former union minister and BJP leader Chinmayanand, of raping, torturing and threatening her for over a year has just been sent to jail on extortion charges. The case has been filed by Chinmayanand’s lawyer on his behalf. Her bail plea was rejected by a Shahjahanpur court on Wednesday evening.
The 23-year-old woman’s case came to light after she put out a video on Facebook describing her plight. She then disappeared for a few days and was found in Rajasthan. Her family members said that they were under threat from Chinmayanand’s people. And she isn’t the first woman to accuse Chinmayanand, who was minister of state in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government from 1999-2004, of rape.
Meanwhile, the survivor of the Unnao rape case, who has just been discharged from hospital after an accident that left her critical, is not going back to her home because she fears for her safety. A Delhi court, under witness protection guidelines, has directed that the survivor and her family find accommodation in Delhi.
The woman’s father, two aunts and one witness to the case have all died under suspicious circumstances since she accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar of raping her.
Her father was framed in an arms case, assaulted in custody and died in hospital few days later. In the Unnao case, the police and the state machinery completely failed to protect the woman.
Both the Sengar and Chinmayanad cases show how the Uttar Pradesh government has failed women in the state repeatedly.
It is ironic that almost exactly a year ago the Supreme Court had quashed a 150-year old adultery law, calling it unconstitutional.
“Adultery cannot and should not be a crime,” the court had said in its judgement.