Indian politician: sometimes rape is right

London Evening Standard

A senior Indian politician sparked outrage today by saying of rape - “sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong”.
His astonishing words come days after two Indian girls were raped and hanged from a tree in an incident which shocked the world.  It also follows comments from another senior Indian politician who appeared to sympathise with rapists saying “boys make mistakes”.

Babulal Gaur is law and order minister in Madhya Pradesh state, run by the Bharatiya Janata Party of new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  Asked about rape he said: “This is a social crime which depends on men and women. Sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong,”

He added: “Until there’s a complaint, nothing can happen.”

The BJP dismissed Mr Gaur’s comments as an expression of his personal views and not the party’s.  Legal changes that may see the death penalty given to rapists have been criticised by some in India, including Mulayam Singh Yadav, head of the party running the large state of Uttar Pradesh.  During the recent Indian elections he said: “Boys commit mistakes: Will they be hanged for rape?”

Anger was expressed around the world last week over the rape and killing of two cousins in the village of Katra Shahadatganj, half a day’s drive east of New Delhi.  Three men have been arrested over the killings. Two police officers also were held on suspicion of trying to cover up the crime.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was “especially appalled” by the incident: “We say no to the dismissive, destructive attitude of ‘boys will be boys’.”

Jospeh Watts, 08/06/2014

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