After the UN mission in New Delhi said that the alleged rape and murder in Hathras and Balrampur in UP are a reminder that those from disadvantaged social groups are at greater risk of gender-based violence, India on Monday reacted sharply and called them “unwarranted” comments.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “Since the investigation process is still underway, any unnecessary comments by an external agency are best avoided.”
“Some unwarranted comments have been made by the UN Resident Coordinator regarding some recent cases of violence against women. UN Resident Coordinator in India should be aware that these cases have been taken extremely seriously by the government,” he said. “The Constitution guarantees equality to all citizens of India. As a democracy, we have a time-tested record of providing justice to all sections of our society.”
In a statement, the UN mission in India had said, “The recent cases of alleged rape and murder in Hathras and Balarampur are another reminder that despite the impressive progress made on a number of social indicators, women and girls from disadvantaged social groups face additional vulnerabilities and are at greater risk of gender-based violence.”
The steps being taken by the Indian government to strengthen safety measures for women and girls are welcome and urgent, the UN mission stated. “We support the Prime Minister’s call for strict action against the culprits. Entrenched social norms and behaviour of men and boys that lead to gender-based violence must be addressed,” it said.
It also stated: “The UN stands committed to providing continued support to the government and civil society to address violence against women. As we fight the challenge of COVID-19 with the determination to build back better India, building respectful relationships devoid of prejudices and gender biases is a top priority.”
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