Reports emerged that the Uttar Pradesh government plans to launch a women’s safety campaign over the next few weeks. In comes right after a young Dalit girl was brutally raped and murdered by four upper caste men, sending shockwaves around the country about the state of safety of women in the state. There have been nationwide protests about rising cases of caste based sexual violence in Uttar Pradesh, and these have been noted and spoken about by the United Nations as well as the National Human Rights Commission.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has reportedly directed officials to conduct a special campaign on the safety of women and girls during Navratri festival, beginning October 17.

According to Press Trust of India (PTI) Adityanath has asked police to take prompt action in cases involving women and girls and deal with such matters sensitively.

The Hathras gang rape of a 19-year-old Dalit girl took place on 14th September and she died of her injuries on 29th September. Right after in another case a 6-year-old girl child was murdered. Yet another case emerged of a Hathras girl dying in Aligarh after she was raped by her cousin. And these were just the cases over a week’s time. Uttar Pradesh is seeing massive increase in crimes against women as noted in national crime data.

Adityanath says anti-Romeo squads, formed to check harassment of women and girls, should remain active in crowded and sensitive areas, according to the statement.

Will the UP Chief Minister’s campaign for women’s safety be enough? Are campaigns the answer? Cases of men assaulting women are on the rise. In many cases, it’s these men using their upper caste and power to get away with it?

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