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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

‘Women should not visit police stations after dark’: BJP leader claims ‘misquoted’

Maurya, a former Governor, said the video being circulated online is a “clipped” version, with her comments taken out of context.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
Updated: October 24, 2021 4:50:33 am
BJP national vice-president Baby Rani Maurya (Twitter/@babyranimaurya)

BJP national vice-president and former Uttarakhand governor Baby Rani Maurya, who is being projected as the saffron party’s Dalit face in Uttar Pradesh ahead of next year’s Assembly elections, found herself in the centre of a controversy on Saturday after she was purportedly heard saying in a video that women should avoid visiting a police station in the state after it gets dark, and advised those who do to be accompanied by a male member of their family. The Indian Express could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

While the BJP leader alleged that the Samajwadi Party (SP) made the clip go viral and claimed that her comments were taken out of context, the Akhilesh Yadav-led party denied it and the Congress claimed that the comments reveal that
“jungle raj [lawlessness]” exists under the Yogi Adityanath government.

In the clip from an event in Varanasi on Friday, the former governor is purportedly heard saying, “…ek mahila adhikari, ek sub-inspector wahaan baithti hai. Lekin ek baat main zaroor kahungi. Paanch baje ke baad, andhera hone ke baad, kabhi thane mat jaana. Phir agle din subah jaana. Jao toh apne ghar se kisi ko bhai ko, apne pati, apne pita ko saath le kar jaana agar zaroori ho. Lekin mahilaon ke liye yeh kaam hua hai…[One woman officer or a sub-inspector sits there. But here is something that I will say. After 5 pm, when it gets dark, don’t go to the police station. Visit the morning after.

“If, indeed, it is necessary to go, make sure a male member of your family such as your brother, husband or father is accompanying you. But it is for women that this work has happened].”

Rani, who has also served as the mayor of Agra, told The Indian Express on Saturday that the video was made to go viral by people associated with the SP and her speech was taken out of context.

“I don’t have a lot to do with this statement. I was in Varanasi yesterday on the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti, at a Dalit hamlet where Dalit women and Muslim women were in attendance. I was telling them about the achievements of the Modi and Yogi governments, how both are working for women and their upliftment, respect and safety. I was talking about how fast-track courts have enabled them to get speedy justice,” the former governor said.

She added, “I would reiterate even today that under the Yogi government, women are so safe that they can go and eat pizza and burgers at 11 pm. The Samajwadi Party is in a panic because even the Muslim women in the area have
joined us.

“They are scared and I don’t know which portion of my speech was clipped and put on social media. This is all that I have to say.”

In a statement from its spokesperson Anshu Awasthi, the Congress lashed out at the Adityanath government. “The BJP and RSS have anti-women thinking and approach. Baby Rani Maurya is showing the same thinking which is typical of the BJP and RSS. Why shouldn’t women go to the police station after 5 pm? This shows how the jungle raj of the BJP government led by Yogi Adityanath doesn’t make it safe for women to go to the police station after 5 pm.

“While on one hand, Priyanka Gandhiji is working to lift the morale of women in the state by giving them 40 per cent tickets, on the other the BJP leaders are constantly projecting women as weak,” read the statement.

Dismissing Maurya’s allegation that the SP made the clip go viral, the party’s national spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary said, “The viral video has been seen by everyone. Why would we share her video? Whatever she said can be heard in the video. We have nothing to do with it at all. Her allegation is baseless and
false.”

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