The Supreme Court of India today pulled up Samajwadi party leader and UP Cabinet minister Azam Khan for claiming that the Bulandshahr gangrape was a political conspiracy. The apex court questioned if such statements calling rape a conspiracy be called freedom of speech. Or does it defeats the principles of Constitutional compassion, the court asked while issuing a notice to the UP Government and Azam Khan over plea of the gangrape victims seeking transfer of the case from the state. The apex court said that such statements made by political leaders like Azam Khan create mistrust among people in the investigation and the entire system.
On August 2, Khan had told reporters that elections were near and political parties could stoop to any level to defame the government. “We must also probe whether this entire controversy is a move by some Opposition elements to defame the government. People who want to come to power may be stooping this low for political interests,” he had said. However, his remarks didn’t go well with the opposition as well as the victims’ family. Khan later retracted the statement, saying: “I didn’t say it was ‘virodhiyon ki shaazish’ (oppositions’ conspiracy). I said that UP polls are close and so many such incidents are happening which need to be investigated.
On the night of July 29, a group of bandits had waylaid a family, when they were travelling from Noida to Shahjahanpur by car, in Bulandshahr. They had dragged a woman, including her 13-year-old daughter, out of the car to a nearby field and raped them while the men were tied with ropes.