New Delhi: Trying to weather the storm over Badaun gangrape and murder case, SP leaders Wednesday blamed TV channels for spurt in rapes in Uttar Pradesh besides using a strange argument that sometimes when relationship between girls and boys come out in open it is "termed as rape".
Samajwadi party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav did not hide his displeasure at the media spotlight over the gangrape and murder of two teenage dalit cousin sisters, telling reporters, "You do your work and let us do our work."
Under intense criticism over the incident, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said a Google search would show such crimes occuring across the country while accusing the media of playing up incidents taking place in his state.
The Centre, meanwhile, expressed concern over the incidents of rape and murder in UP and asked the Akhilesh government to "act promptly" to improve law and order situation in the state.
The Union Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijiju also criticised the Chief Minister for accusing the media of highlighting such cases occurring in UP while ignoring similar cases happening in other states.
He advised Yadav that "such shameful incidents should not be seen by numbers."
Senior SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav held TV channels responsible for such crimes, saying they show vulgarity, obscenity and violence.
Attacking media for "deliberately" focusing on such incidents only in UP, he said similar cases happened in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra but they were not highlighted.
He also came out with a strange argument on description of relationship between girls and boys when it becomes public.
"In many places, when the relationship between girls and boys come out in open, it is termed as rape. In many places, girls and boys are ready (to marry) but honour killings take place. The most saddening and serious thing is that such incidents are not stopping. These incidents happen in other places also but are not highlighted," he added.
Mulayam asserted his party's government in the state was "not insensitive" and was taking action against the culprits.
"What to do...We are sensitive. We are not insensitive... Strict action is being taken against culprits. You do your work and let us do our work," he said, when asked by reporters in Delhi to comment on rising cases of rape in UP.
New BJP MP and former Home Secretary R K Singh said UP was a fit case for imposing President's rule as the state has "completely failed" to control law and order.