THE families of the two cousins, aged 12 and 14, whose bodies were found hanging from a tree in Badaun district earlier this week, have become the centre of a political storm with leaders making a beeline to their village of Katra Sadatganj.
A day after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav recommended the case for a CBI probe and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi called on the families, Sunday saw elaborate preparations, including the construction of a temporary helipad on a farm land, for BSP chief Mayawati’s visit.
The families which refused compensation from the state government however accepted Mayawati’s offer of Rs 5 lakh compensation each. Speaking to reporters later, Mayawati said the families “trusts only me among all the political leaders” so the compensation would be generated from the BSP’s central funds and sent to them by Monday.
The mothers of the deceased girls told The Indian Express that they had no option. “It is not simply a matter of compensation...taking money from the state government would mean going with the state police who we hold responsible for our daughters’ deaths. Rahul Gandhi is a sweet boy but how long will he stay here in UP...he is a big man. We have to trust a leader from our community,” the mother of the 14-year-old victim said.
Mayawati who landed at the village a little after noon drove till the lane adjoining the victims’ homes. For the15-20 metre walk that she had to make to their homes, the open drains had been covered with red and white tents on both sides of the road, the fields with their crops newly cut dusted numerous times by BSP workers.
“Mayawatiji wiped my tears, and she told me that if the government does not do anything for us, she will leave Lucknow and Delhi and sit here with us on dharna...she told us that poor downtrodden people like us have to stick together to get justice,” the mother of one of the victims said.
With the BSP workers, many children from the area, including the brother of one of the victims, said he dusted the lane for the BSP leader’s visit.
Mayawati claimed credit for “pressuring” the CM to recommend a CBI probe in the case. “If i had not decided to visit Badaun they would never have recommended a CBI probe... transferring and sacking police officers is not the solution, there is total breakdown of