Uttar Pradesh Women and Child Welfare Minister Aruna Kori on Sunday said it was not the government but the society which was responsible for incidents of rape, drawing flak from several quarters for her “insensitive and irresponsible” remarks.
Commenting on the recent rape of a teenage girl by two policemen in Badaun district, the minister said “…It’s not government which is responsible for this, but the society…
“People who assault and rape minors should be immediately brought to book and as soon as we receive information regarding such crimes we order an inquiry and punish the guilty… The government as well as the society should work together to bring in a change in the society,” the minister said.
Political leaders, including those from BSP, BJP and Congress, and women’s commission members have criticised the minister for her ‘irresponsible’ comments.
Reacting to the minister’s remarks, BSP leader Sudhindra Bhadoria said, “This is an irresponsible comment on her part… The UP government has not been able to stop rapes and other crimes against women.. And to hide their inefficiency they are making such statements. If they are unable to protect the society, especially the women, then they must resign.”
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “It’s absolutely appalling when a woman minister does not understand the pain of a woman who has undergone a gory crime like rape… She is trying to shift the onus from the administration to the women and the society.”
The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) also criticised the minister for putting the onus on the society to check crimes.
Two constables — Veer Pal Singh Yadav and Avnish Yadav, both dismissed — allegedly abducted a teenage girl from her house on December 31 and gang-raped her in the Musajhag police station premises. The Uttar Pradesh government has asked Special Task Force of state police to trace the duo.
Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Barkha Singh said, “Society as well as the culture and a particular person’s mind are responsible… But our police and our government has an equal role to play.”
She said it is the responsibility of those in the government to make strict laws and rules and not “make such statements”.
Reacting to the minister’s remarks, senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, “It’s a very insensitive statement coming from a woman minister… I think these are the kind of statements that embolden the criminals as well as those in the government or administration who do not care about their duties.”
Criticising the minister for her remarks, CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali asked, “If the government is not responsible for anything then why should we have a government… In UP, the problem is that those who have got political affiliations, those who are important in the administration, those who have money are all above the law and the government does not want to take them on. So the easiest thing is to say that the society is responsible for everything.”
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