Facing intense backlash over his controversial statements on women following the Bengaluru mass molestation incident, Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara Thursday sought to clarify his stance saying “my quote about the New Year’s eve alleged molestation incident has been interpreted out of context”.
The state home minister had allegedly said that “western ways” were leading to incidents like the one that happened on New Year’s Eve in Bengaluru. “NCW has summoned me and I will reply to them. I will also reply to the Governor who has asked for a report,” he said.
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National Commission for Women chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam, while issuing a notice to Parameshwara, had said the minister should resign for making such objectionable remarks against women. “Such remarks from the minister are unacceptable and regrettable… He should apologise to the women of the country and resign.” Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had also criticised Parameshwara for his comments. “I condemn d irresponsible comment made by Karnataka Home Minister. City Police should catch all the identified culprits & put behind the bar,” Rijiju had tweeted.
Paremeshwara on Thursday also spoke about making streets safer for the women of Bengaluru. “Bengaluru has always been peaceful for women. Incidents like the one that happened on New Year must not bring bad name to Bengaluru. We will increase CCTV installation and set up 5, 000 CCTVs. Will also increase number of Dial 100 24/7 helplines from 15 to 100,” he said.
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After the initial reports of the molestation incident, Parameshwara had said there were enough police force deployed in Bengaluru to ensure safety of women and “such incidents do happen on New Year day and Christmas”. “We had deployed 1,500 police personnel in the area for New Year’s celebrations. Such incidents do happen on New Year day and on Christmas. We take a lot of precautions,” Parmeshwara told ANI.
Speaking to a TV channel, he had also said: “As I said, unfortunately what is happening is a large number of youngsters gather on days like New Year on Brigade Road, Commercial Street, M G Road. Youngsters who are almost like westerners, they try to copy westerners not only in mindset, but even the dressing. So some disturbance, some girls are harassed, these kinds of things do happen.”