The main accused in the Rampur molestation case, in which a group of men were seen heckling and harassing two women in a video that went viral on social media, has been arrested while a hunt is on for other accused who have all been identified, officials said on Sunday.
Shah Nawaz was among the 14 who molested two girls on a city road, filmed the incident and then posted it on social media networks. A Home Department official also said that all the accused have been identified and an FIR has been lodged against them. The others are, however, still at large.
Police officials also said that while no complaint has been filed by the victims, police has suo moto taken cognisance of the matter and lodged the FIR against Named, Farman, Jahan-e-Alam, Saddam and others, all residents of Kuva Kheda village of Rampur.
Rampur SSP Vipin Tanda told IANS that the Rampur police, after noticing two women being harassed by a dozen men in a video uploaded on social media, lodged the complaint.
The incident occurred on 22 May.
“We have formed five teams to arrest the other culprits,” he added.
Meanwhile, former urban development minister Azam Khan, who is also the local legislator, drew outrage after he suggested that to avoid such crimes against them, women should sit at home and remain protected.
He also targeted the media and chief minister Yogi Adityanath by saying that he was “thankful to them as because of their making light of such crimes, criminals were getting emboldened”.
“After the Bulandshahr incident, everyone should try to keep women of the family indoors. Girls should not go to places where there is a brazen dance of shamelessness,” said Azam Khan while referring to the July 2016 gang rape of a minor and her mother in Bulandshahr.
Flaying the Yogi Adityanath government for the alleged rising crime graph in the state, he said the Rampur molestation was not surprising as “so many cases of rape, murder and loot have taken place under the present government”.
Khan has a penchant for making controversial statements. He was made to apologise by the Supreme Court for calling the Bulandshahr case a “political conspiracy”. Apart from flaying the BJP government, he advised the women to stay indoors.
“Molestation, misbehaving with the women, loot, dacoity, murder have become the order of the day. Before the Assembly polls, I had warned the voters of the consequences of voting for the BJP. I had urged them to keep in mind the perfect rule of the SP and the future of law and order. I had said if the BJP was given a chance, law and order will worsen,” he told PTI.
The SP leader said what was now happening in Uttar Pradesh was “not unexpected”, claiming that women in the state were not safe ever since the BJP government took over. Khan advised the parents of the girls to realise the “gravity of the situation. … For the safety of your prestige, keep your daughters inside the houses under strict vigil.”