Suresh Khanna, a top minister in the Yogi Adityanath government said on Friday that ensuring zero crime in a state as big as Uttar Pradesh is an improbable task. He was speaking in connection with the series of crimes in the state, including the murder and gangrape incident at the Jewar-Bulandshahr road off the Yamuna Expressway.

“Itna bada pradesh hai, humne kabhi zero crime ki baat nahi ki thi. Lekin koi bhi apraadhi ho, use saza milegi. (Ours is a huge state, we never claimed that we will ensure zero crime. But I assure you criminals won’t go unpunished,” minister Suresh Khanna said.

The minister made the statement hours after four women were allegedly gangraped and a male relative shot dead by a group of robbers on the Jewar-Bulandshahr highway.

Khanna’s statement is likely to trigger a row as the Opposition is already criticising the Yogi government over its failure to control caste clashes in Saharanpur. 

The incident, which is a horrific reminder of last year's Bulandshahr gang rape, took place near Sabota village in Jewar around 1.40 a.m. when the eight people were going to visit a relative undergoing treatment at a hospital in Bulandshahr in western Uttar Pradesh.