The gang-rape and brutal murder of two teenage sisters in Uttar Pradesh’s Katra village is yet another confirmation of how abysmally degraded the law and order situation is in the state. That the girls, aged 14 and 15 years, were Dalits, only adds to the gravity and heinousness of the crimes. They were abducted, raped and then hanged from a mango tree! What kind of insane and misogynistic mind allows itself to commit such a crime? In fact, this also attests to the fact that the UP government hasn’t learnt its lessons from the electoral rout that the ruling Samajwadi Party faced in the Lok Sabha elections, in which the extreme deterioration of the law and order situation, sky-rocketing crime graphs and violence against minorities and women topped the charts of the issues plaguing the people. Moreover, this unforgivable episode is an unfortunate reminder that UP is a cauldron that has witnessed several riotous incidents, of which the last year’s events in Muzaffarnagar were only the tip of a very large iceberg. Not only has the UP police failed to curb the escalating crime rate in the state, even the government has been exemplarily callous and lackadaisical in its approach. Perhaps it is the comeuppance of decades of playing with emotions of the minorities that politics in Uttar Pradesh has spiraled out of control, with goons and criminals calling the shots, and presiding over most gruesome crimes committed in the name of communalism. Being a woman and belonging to a minority community, whether Dalit, Muslim or OBC, is clearly a double whammy in UP, for which the hapless girls paid the price with their lives.