India state minister on rape: ‘Sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong’

Home minister in BJP-run Madhya Pradesh state describes rape as a ‘social crime’ in comments playing down rapes

Women in Uttar Pradesh protest against the state goverment after two cousins aged 12 and 14 were raped and hanged. Photograph: Hindustan Times/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

A state minister from Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party has described rape as a “social crime”, saying “sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong”, in the latest controversial remarks by an Indian politician about rape.

The political leaders of Uttar Pradesh, the state where two cousins aged 12 and 14 were raped and hanged last week, have faced criticism for failing to visit the scene and for accusing the media of hyping the story.

A regional politician from Modi’s own Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), said that the crime of rape can only be considered to have been committed if it is reported to police.

“This is a social crime which depends on men and women. Sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong,” said Babulal Gaur, the home minister responsible for law and order in the BJP-run central state of Madhya Pradesh.

“Until there’s a complaint, nothing can happen,” he told reporters.

Gaur also expressed sympathy with Mulayam Singh Yadav, head of the regional Samajwadi party that runs Uttar Pradesh. In the recent election, Mulayam criticised legal changes that foresee the death penalty for gang rape, saying: “Boys commit mistakes: will they be hanged for rape?”

Source: The Guardian Read more

Opinion:

This minister should be dismissed and flogged.

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