Indian minister says rapes happen "accidentally"

Published June 8, 2014
Ramsevak Paikra, the home minister of central Chhattisgarh state. — Photo courtesy: The Hindustan Times
Ramsevak Paikra, the home minister of central Chhattisgarh state. — Photo courtesy: The Hindustan Times

NEW DELHI: A minister from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party has said rapes happen “accidentally” in the latest controversial remarks by a politician amid renewed anger over attacks against women.

Ramsevak Paikra, the home minister of central Chhattisgarh state who is responsible for law and order, said late on Saturday that rapes did not happen on purpose.

“Such incidents (rapes) do not happen deliberately. These kind of incidents happen accidentally,” Paikra, of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which also rules at the national level, told reporters.

Paikra, who was asked for his thoughts on the gang-rape and lynching of two girls in a neighbouring state, later said he had been misquoted. His original remarks were broadcast on television networks.

The remarks come days after the home minister of the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh state said rapes were “sometimes right, sometimes wrong”.

The minister, Babulal Gaur, gave the remarks on Thursday at a time of growing outrage over the gang-rape and murder of the girls, aged 12 and 14, in northern Uttar Pradesh state late last month.

Modi, whose party came to power in a landslide election victory, has so far stayed silent over the rapes and has not addressed the politicians' comments.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav faced severe criticism for his perceived insensitivity over the attacks on the low-caste girls, who were found hanging from a mango tree after being sexually assaulted multiple times.

Yadav's father Mulayam Singh — leader of the Samajwadi Party — was also the target of public anger in April when he told an election rally that he opposed the recently introduced death penalty for gang-rapists, saying “boys make mistakes”.

Women's groups have slammed the comments, saying they were evidence that politicians were unable to stem sexual violence because they lacked respect for India's women and were ignorant of the issues.

Politicians also came under fire after the fatal gang-rape of a student on a moving bus in New Delhi in December 2012, a crime that angered the nation and shone a global spotlight on India's treatment of women.

India brought in tougher rape laws last year after the Delhi attack, but they have failed to stem the tide of violence against women across the country.

At the time, several politicians sought to blame tight jeans, short skirts and other Western influences for the country's rise in rapes, while the head of a village council pointed to chowmein which he claimed led to hormone imbalances among men.

Opinion

Law & processions
16 Oct 2021

Law & processions

It is up to the police to impose reasonable conditions on a procession.
Is the party over?
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Is the party over?

Many in PTI are concerned how they can hang on till the next elections.
The last fortress
Updated 16 Oct 2021

The last fortress

The state wants to use the social media rules to trample on the right to freedom of speech.
Reopening under Covid
15 Oct 2021

Reopening under Covid

It will be a challenge to deal with all students returning to classrooms and maintaining SOPs.

Editorial

Diminishing freedom
Updated 16 Oct 2021

Diminishing freedom

DESPITE the serious reservations of digital rights activists and tech companies, the federal government has...
16 Oct 2021

Dirty politics

IN her outburst against Prime Minister Imran Khan this week, PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz may not have taken names but...
16 Oct 2021

Decreasing emissions

THE announcement by SAPM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam that carbon emissions in the country came down by 9pc...
No need for NAB
Updated 15 Oct 2021

No need for NAB

THE National Accountability Bureau has sent instructions to its regional bureaus to stop processing cases that fall...
Forced conversions
Updated 15 Oct 2021

Forced conversions

THE majoritarian view has once again prevailed in the matter of bringing about legislation against forced conversion...
15 Oct 2021

Transgender rights

MEMBERS of the transgender community in the country are often at the receiving end of both their families’ and...