— Consider reading the article Uttar Pradesh: Samajwadi Party leader Tanveer Khan booked for sexually assaulting a Dalit woman, forcing to change religion on OpIndia website —
The district chief of Samajwadi Party in Shahjahanpur district in UP, Tanveer Khan, has been booked along with three others for a case of robbery and sexual assault on a Dalit Woman in Shahjahanpur Kotwali. The charges were pressed against the politician after massive protests took place at the SSP office and the police station by the members of Hindu Yuva Vahini.
According to the victim’s brother, Khan had forced his sister to forcibly change her religion to marry one of his relatives aged 38. As per a report published in Times of India, an FIR was registered under the IPC sections 354 (assault to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 379 (punishment for theft), 392 (robbery), 504 (intentional insult) and 506 (criminal intimidation) and relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act SC/ST Act against Durgesh Saxena, Kafeel Ahmad, Vaishali Saxena and Tanveer Khan.
Sexual assault by Shahjahanpur SP district chief amidst upheaval over Hathras incident
The case of sexual assault by a prominent Samajwadi Party leader came amidst the ongoing political tumult in Uttar Pradesh where the opposition political parties have sought to politicise the Hathras incident after the case attracted nationwide outrage when some reports claimed Hathras Police forcefully cremated the girl on Tuesday night without consent of the family members. The police had later stated that the victim’s father was present during the cremation.
A lot of debate and political mudslinging has been happening around the Hathras case since the victim succumbed to her injuries in Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital on Tuesday morning. The police had stated that the victim had bitten her tongue, and had suffered injuries on her spine because of the brutal strangulation. The victim had later stated to the police that she was gang-raped. However, the UP Police said that the post mortem report did not mention any injuries that may have indicated rape or sexual assault. ADG Prashant Kumar had claimed that the forensic lab report of the samples collected from the victim’s body have ruled out rape or sexual assault.
Akhilesh Yadav’ silence over charges levelled against Tanveer Khan’s
However, like other opposition politicians, Akhilesh Yadav was also swift in jumping on the bandwagon the raging controversy, perhaps, in the pursuit of reviving his ebbing political fortunes. To this end, he has been continuously posting critical tweets of the Yogi Adityanath government and the police administration in the state. Notwithstanding the fact that Section 144 has been imposed in Hathras, Yadav has also lambasted at the police for baton-charging the SP party workers who were advancing towards the village.
A couple of days ago, Yadav also posted a tweet, alleging that the state government of being insensitive to the brutality faced by the victim Dalit girl in Hathras.
हाथरस की गैंग रेप एवं दरिंदगी की शिकार एक बेबस दलित बेटी ने आख़िरकार दम तोड़ दिया. नम आँखों से पु्ष्पांजलि!
आज की असंवेदनशील सत्ता से अब कोई उम्मीद नहीं बची.
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) September 29, 2020
While Yadav has been extremely vocal in his support for the Hathras incident, he has not shown the same eagerness in condemning his party member or Tanveer Khan or initiating action against him despite charges of sexual assault levelled against him. The stark difference in Akhilesh Yadav’s conduct over the two incidents makes one wonder if his outrage over the Hathras incident is driven purely from his political necessities and not from his moral compass.