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Akhilesh’s fallback hope

Sutapa Sanyal at the scene of a crime she has solved in Balsinghkheda, 30km from Lucknow. Picture by Naeem Ansari

Lucknow, July 21: Akhilesh Yadav is banking on a lady super cop to bail him out of the crisis triggered by a rape epidemic that has earned Uttar Pradesh global notoriety.

The buzz is the cop could be a Bengali woman with an MA in economics from JNU who yesterday cracked the state’s latest high-profile rape-and-murder case in just two days despite its twisted plot.

The chief minister’s office had on Friday tweeted the impending creation of a director-general of police (women’s safety). Home department sources said the likely pick was the state’s senior-most woman IPS officer, additional director-general Sutapa Sanyal, 57.

She is now in charge of the women’s cell at the state police headquarters that Akhilesh opened last year. But the cell has just a handful of officers and can only investigate gender crimes transferred to it by city and district police chiefs.

“As DG (women’s safety), she will be able to monitor or take over any rape or harassment case she wants,” an official said. “She’ll also have the power to implement her ideas on women’s safety in public places.”

Sanyal, a Patna native, is an advocate of martial arts training for girls in schools and colleges.

A woman IPS officer who had worked under Sanyal described her as “soft-spoken, accessible and dedicated to her job”. Before becoming women’s cell chief, Sanyal held charge of the economic offences wing.

On Friday, her team was asked to probe the brutal rape and murder of a 32-year-old widow, left to die naked and bleeding from multiple stab wounds on a school compound 30km from here. Investigations had till then made no headway and protests raged in Lucknow.

“It was a blind case but my team was able to crack it by working hard,” Sanyal told reporters yesterday.

She said accused Ramsevak, a security guard, stole the mobile of a real estate agent, Rajiv, whom the victim knew, called her on Wednesday impersonating Rajiv and, face hidden under a helmet, took her to the secluded crime spot in his motorbike.

When she resisted his advances, Sanyal said, Ramsevak repeatedly stabbed the mother of two, a lab assistant at a medical college. Six local cops have been suspended for neglecting the probe and allowing people to click the naked victim’s pictures.