Uttar Pradesh minister Suresh Kumar Khanna sparked a political controversy on Thursday after he said police cannot be deployed everywhere and no government can ensure a crime-free society.
He made the statement hours after four women were allegedly gang-raped and a man was shot dead by a group of armed criminals on the Jewar-Bulandshahr highway.
"We will take strictest possible action in the incident that occurred on the highway. "There cannot be a completely crime-free society... But the BJP government does not patronize criminals, like the previous governments did," he told media persons in Ghaziabad.
The incident, which is a horrific reminder of last year's Bulandshahr gangrape, took place near Sabota village in Jewar around 1.40am when the eight people were going to visit a relative undergoing treatment at a hospital in Bulandshahr in western Uttar Pradesh.
SSP, Gautam Budh Nagar, Love Kumar said a gang of five robbers targeted the vehicle after the driver stopped it near a roadside hut to fix a flat tyre.
The occupants were attacked and, along with an old man who was in the hut, taken to a nearby field. The women were misbehaved with and a man was shot dead when he resisted, he said. The Yogi Adityanath government is facing flak over the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.