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Political Leaders Denounce Uttar Pradesh Violence

Supporters of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are stopped by police from moving towards the office of the chief minister of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, during a protest against recent rape and hanging of two girls, in Lucknow, June 2, 2014.
National political leaders in India have slammed provincial government officials in Uttar Pradesh for a deterioration of security in the northern state amid new rape allegations.

The criticism on Thursday, comes on the heels on several heinous crimes in the province, including the May rape and murders of two teenaged girls. Villagers found the bodies of the 12 and 14-year-old girls hanging from a tree.

On Wednesday, a woman said four officers gang raped her inside of an Uttar Pradesh police station after she refused to pay a bribe to secure her husband's release. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, the leader of the ruling BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), said local government officials have been lax in punishing criminals.

"People who are trying to worsen law and order situation of Uttar Pradesh are somewhat getting protection from the government. We have noticed the government is justifying the criminal acts of people," he said.

Congress Party leader Rashid Alvi said Uttar Pradesh should be "divided," so that governance could be done "in a better way."

During his first speech to parliament, on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged lawmakers to stop "politicizing" rape and instead work together to ensure women's safety.

He said "respecting and protecting women" should be a priority in India.