'Rapes Happen All the Time': Minister's Comment in India's Karnataka Sparks Outrage
12:13 GMT 27.08.2021 (Updated: 10:38 GMT 19.07.2022)
The politician in question was trying to defend the government's record of keeping women safe when he make the remark.
A Karnataka state minister has courted controversy by saying "rapes happen all the time" in India.
Labour Minister Shivaram Hebbar made the remark following an alleged gang-rape at a tourist site.
"It is not that such incidents are taking place only when our party came to power. Women have been targeted earlier," he stated.
On 24 August, a girl student accompanied by male friend was visiting Chamundi Hills, a popular tourist spot in a forest on the outskirts of Mysuru city. The duo were stalked by a group of about six men. Both were surrounded and asked to hand over their money but when they refused, the boy was beaten up and the girl was allegedly gang-raped.
On Friday, Dr. Shama Mohamed, national spokesperson of the Congress party, slammed Minister Hebbar for his remarks.
On Friday, state Tourism Minister Anand Singh also said: "Be it young lovers or newly wed couples, they shouldn't go to such places. We cannot tell everyone not to go. Police can't be deployed at all such spots."
Earlier, on Wednesday, the state's Home Minister Araga Jnanendra blamed the victim for the incident. "She should not have gone there. It is a desolate place. She went there late in the evening. The victim should not have gone to an isolated place at 7:30 pm."
Meanwhile, Congress chief D.K. Shivakumar has criticised Jnanendra's statement, saying it is crazy to suggest people should not be out at 7:30 pm.
The controversial comments even prompted the State Chief, Basavaraj S. Bommai on Thursday to rebuke Home Minister Jnanendra and compelled him to apologise. "I just don't agree with the comments made by my Home Minister regarding the gang rape incident. I have advised him to give a clarification."
"I have directed the officials to pursue the matter seriously and update me on developments," Shivakumar added.